By thomasnash 0 Comments
I normally try and keep my distance from public deaths, even people who I appreciate, because I always imagine that the people who knew them for real must find it galling to see the massive effusions of eulogizing that end up being everywhere and knowing that all they can manage is that profound emptiness of grief. So I was surprised that I was moved enough by it that i felt, like all of you, such a deep and genuine sadness about the news. Perhaps even more surprising was that when I told my girlfriend about it, trying not to make it seem like a big deal, her reaction was to offer condolences as if I'd lost a friend, another genuine reaction. She's listened to the occasional podcast with me, watched the occasional video; with maybe 10 hours of Giantbomb experience, she understood what it was about him, what it is about the site in general, that might make me feel a deeper connection to him that any other "celebrity." It's another stone of the monument that is being built to his friendly, open charm.
Everyone's said it; everyone feels like they have a personal connection to the people who run this website. Personalities are at the heart of it. I guess that became immediately obvious at the beginning of Giantbomb, and it's personalities like Ryan that inspire loyalty and keep us coming back for more. If it had been 2030, I'd still be here looking for a Ryan and Vinny quick look, and I'd still be floored by the news that a source of entertainment and comforting sound was gone; someone who knew nothing about me but still let me know about his life, his childhood, and his desire to sit on cakes. And as someone else has said, whereas usually we have a whole network of friends and relatives to help us grieve, who do we turn to now?
And so I think, ultimately, I understand a little better what those outpourings of grief for people we've never met can be, even if they aren't always as pure. That search for suffering fellows, who we can talk to and help conjure the man to entertain us again with his escapades. And I can think of no better legacy to leave in the world than a community of people who have found something to share in, whether it's a bunch of silly videos or a community park or whatever. People who can create communities are rare and precious.
It's in that spirit that I'd like to thank the rest of the crew, as well as the extended Giantbomb family, for letting us share their own experiences and memories of Ryan, and for accepting our genuinely felt sadness. The pictures, videos, tweets and stories have all been wonderful to see. Most of us only experienced Ryan as an entity in videos and on podcasts, which remain on the site, the highlights of which are being shown on the front page today. To some degree, the Ryan that I expected as I switched on my laptop today is the same Ryan I have, all archived on this site. So thank you for giving me the most complete Ryan Davis I will ever get to know.