By mrplaid 3 Comments
I'm sorry if the post below sounds self-indulgent. I've honestly been trying to articulate my feelings about today, and writing this has helped. I also wanted to say goodbye to Ryan along with the rest of the community. Another drop in the Grief Bucket...
I'm a happily-married, gainfully-employed 30-year-old man with two small children and a mortgage. I've been trying to wrap my head around why Ryan Davis' passing has me so bummed out. After a day of mulling it over, I almost feel guilty and irresponsible for letting the news affect me the way it has. Ryan was not my friend. I'm only one of Giant Bomb's many thousands of fans. The only time I ever met Ryan was for a few brief seconds after Giant Bomb's PAX East panel in 2011. I shook his hand and told him I'd been reading his stuff for years, and he happily signed my stupid copy of Deadly Premonition. That was it.
And then today happened. For all intents and purposes, someone living on the other side of the country that makes stupid videos and Internet radio shows that I like is suddenly gone forever. But it's more than that. It's like I've lost a close friend. But... do I have the right to feel that way?
Like a lot of other fans, I've been listening to the Bombcast since it began in 2008. And to the Hotspot before that. And to Arrow Pointing Down in that weird period between The Hotspot and the Bombcast. The voices of Ryan, Jeff, Brad, Vinny, Alex and Patrick have been literally inside my head once a week for almost eight years. So you could argue that prolonged exposure alone has conjured a misguided sense of familiarity with people I'll never have any sort of meaningful relationship with.
But that's not true. I DID have a relationship with Ryan Davis (not the kind that involves alcohol and regret) because I am a fan of Giant Bomb.
I keep coming back to Giant Bomb because the site's personality resonates with mine, and Ryan Davis and the rest of the staff are Giant Bomb's personality. This site is an extension of who Ryan was as a human being, and that's more than games and the afforementioned stupid videos. Giant Bomb was/is about inclusion, friendship, positivity, and fun. Even though I never knew him personally judging by what he helped build and the people he surrounded himself with, Ryan was the living embodiment of those awesome characteristics. Nearly every day since 2008 in website form, podcast form, or stupid video form, Giant Bomb has been a part of my life, and so has Ryan. Whether Ryan knew it or not, he was my friend. What kind of monster would I be if I wasn't sad?
Thanks for all those good feelings, man. You'll be missed.