By TinyGrenade 3 Comments
I've never been one to open up publicly. But then again, I've never felt this way before.
On July 8th, 2013 I learned about the death of Ryan Davis. He was the co-founder of Giant Bomb, a videogame website, he was a videogame journalist and he was one of the two biggest inspirations in my life. Back in the early 2000's I was way into videogames, a fact I became comfortable with. I started watching videos on Gamespot.com and eventually was introduced to Jeff Gerstmann and Ryan Davis, two dudes I felt "got it". Maybe it was their attitude, maybe it was how they took their jobs with a grain of salt and humor or maybe it was just because they're both fucking rad dudes. When Jeff was fired I watched Ryan Davis leave his job to go co-found a new website with Jeff. That's crazy, that's fucking insane to leave a secure job to go start yet another gaming website in the hopes of it succeeding. But that's friendship and that's following the right motives, a lesson Ryan Davis nailed into me through his actions.
"He's just some videogame guy" is what 99% of the people that know me would say. After all, their exposure to him was small bits of videos that involved him, let's face it, acting like the loveable ass that he was. He was fantastic at that, his sarcasm and humorous stabs at others were second to none. Ryan was so much more than a journalist, he was an entertainer and a profound part of any fan of Giant Bomb's life. Every Tuesday we'd welcome Ryan into our iPods, cars, computers and headphones with his always wonderful "It's Tuuuuueeeesssday..." and everything felt just a tad more tolerable that day. His wit and sarcasm helped make the live shows and countless quick looks he was a part of all the more entertaining. And his unfathomable knowledge about the most obscure crap made him a strange bastion of comfort for us fans.
I never had the opportunity to meet Ryan, though I saw him in person twice. Both times were at PAX East on two separate occasions, but I just couldn't bring myself to say hi. Ryan's persona was larger than life and the confidence he exuded made him seem that much more intimidating in a weird way. It's comforting to read all the tweets from friends about how amazing he was, in a way I think it's how those of us who didn't know him hoped he'd be. To me, though, Ryan Davis was a special kind of guy. He was your typical videogame nerd with an edge that said "fuck you, videogames are cool" and you agreed. I can only imagine the people who took solace in his attitude and confidence, he was one of a kind. And when that camera was rolling, goddamn he knew how to host/bullshit with the best of them.
Ryan Davis was more than anyone could have imagined, to an entire community he was some weird internet icon I'm sure he'd never agree to being. Nonetheless, the Giant Bomb community loved that man more than the thousands of posts can possibly express, and I'm proud to say I'm a part of this community. Ryan was something different to each of us, to me he was an inspiration. His mix of harsh criticism and amazing frank yet funny humor made me strive to do what he did. Every word he's published and every video he's been a part of has made me want to make just as big a dent in the world as Ryan has, though I doubt I'd come close.
Like many of us in the GB community I never met Ryan, but I'd consider him a friend. His jokes made us laugh, yet his laugh was so much grander. His comments made us squint at times, yet you knew he was a good guy. His presence made a live stream about games feel warm and welcoming and now that feeling is disappearing. I miss Ryan Davis, and as I look at the clock I realize it's 1 in the morning, it's Tuesday and Ryan can't be here to let me know. But it'll always be Tuesday in my book, because I'll never forget Ryan Davis.