Ryan Davis and the Power of Passion

I don't know quite what to say... I have a feeling Ryan would be a bit annoyed with the thought of anyone being speechless thanks to him. The last thing he'd want is silence, even if all you could say is, "Fuck! SHIT! What the hell are you talking about? Ryan Davis can't be dead! That's bullshit, you lying sack of crap!"

For the last few hours, that's probably the best I've been able to muster, and I'd like to think he'd appreciate the great enthusiasm with which people have responded to his passing. He didn't ever seem to want people to change for him. He just wanted them to boldly be who they are.

And that was perhaps what I appreciated most about him as a man and an entertainer. It was always hard to put a peg on the magic of Ryan Davis, but if I were to venture my own inarticulate guess, I would say it was a passion for passion. A man driven not only by himself being a truly memorable character but by his desire to see others shine for who they are, as well. It made him an amazing host, encouraging others in putting themselves out there for the entertainment and education of everyone else.

His subtle and not-so-subtle provocations of conversation were a major part of what has made the Bombcast an enduring weekly discussion of videogames and everything else one can imagine. He pushed and prodded in videos, whether with his cutting criticism or unconstrained joy. Nothing appeared "meh" to him. It was "MEH!" Even his boredom asserted an undeniable presence. He was unequivocally himself in everything he was a part of.

Today we are all Ryan Davis.

Even as an videogame personality I knew strictly through the Internet, I will miss Ryan Davis as though he were an old friend I had truly known. I can't quite explain that. But while his friends and family deeply mourn their loss, I cannot help but mourn with them in my own distant way. I am but another random member of the Giant Bomb community, and perhaps that's why his death is having such an impact. Giant Bomb really is a community, and Ryan was a leader and a major part of what has brought us all together.

There would have been no Giant Bomb without Ryan Davis, and Giant Bomb is forever changed by this loss. Ultimately, this site is but a small part of what Ryan accomplished in his life, as a man, as a son, as a husband, as a friend... but it is undeniably an important and amazing site and community that he helped build up until the day he was taken from this earth. It's natural for people to wonder what will happen without him here, because he leaves an immense hole that cannot be filled. The Giant Bomb we have known will not be the same as the Giant Bomb in the future, but all of this stands as a tribute to a man who made life brighter for thousands of people across the world.

Ryan lives on in the Commodore 64 classic, Murder on the Mississippi.

At this point, I imagine Ryan goading me to wrap things up, because I cannot help but feel that he would be hesitant to accept just how wide and deep the outpouring of love is for him and all that he has done. He's just some asshole who makes random comments on videogames and does dumb shit, he might say, and he and Jeff have never seemed to cease in marveling at the fact that they get to do this for a living. Yet, all of that dumb shit culminated in a man who made a real impact on videogame culture and entertained hundreds of thousands more than he would ever know.

As a regular source of joy for everyone who knew him, Ryan was an irreplaceable part of our lives. And while I shed a few tears trying to get all of this out, I can't help but shout, "FUCK RYAN DAVIS." You jerk. You asshole... Why'd you have to make us care so much? Why'd you have such an impact on this crazy community of gamers? You're gonna be missed so damn much.

My sincere prayers are with his wife, his family, his friends, and everyone here at Giant Bomb who has gotten so much from his years of hard work and friendship. May you find some peace in the face of this immeasurable loss.

12 Comments Refresh
Posted by TruthTellah

In light of this more serious post, I feel that it would not be complete without a bit of humor courteous of some of my favorite Ryan images and gifs. Please enjoy.



So gleeful...



So complex...





So... Ryan Davis.


Boom. I'M OUT!

Posted by cloudnineboya

nuff said, ryan would be stoked.

Posted by TruthTellah

Man, I'm exhausted. I've only ever known Ryan through the site, but this has hit me hard. I just looked at the clock and it's past 5:30AM and I forgot to eat anything today. I guess I'll go make a sandwich and then try to get some rest...

I can hardly imagine how his loved ones are doing right now. My heart truly goes out to them.

Posted by Red12b
Edited by Demoskinos

@truthtellah: Tossed and turned for most of the night. Still can't process it all. You're hardly alone with the way you feel.

Posted by Jams

Man, I'm exhausted. I've only ever known Ryan through the site, but this has hit me hard. I just looked at the clock and it's past 5:30AM and I forgot to eat anything today. I guess I'll go make a sandwich and then try to get some rest...

I can hardly imagine how his loved ones are doing right now. My heart truly goes out to them.

Good post man. I feel like jumping on a murder sling shot and being launched into the sun right now.

Posted by jiggajoe14

Great work TT. I'm still having trouble processing everything. Spent so much of the day laughing so hard @Ryan videos that I wanted to cry. Gonna miss that man.

Posted by mrfluke

truth tellah tellin the truth like usual.

it still just feels like a bad dream, but it isnt.its very real.

Posted by Kittiah

Thanks for this Truth. Never met you before, but I think you were hanging out in the ThanksRyan Twitch stream last night, and all of you guys helped me get past that point where I just couldn't stop breaking down into tears, so that by the time I hit the sack, I was grinning at so so so many great memories of Ryan.

Gone, but never, ever forgotten. Peace out, duder.

Edited by HerpDerp

You remain the most honest voice of Giant Bomb, TruthTellah. Perhaps this is a bit cheesy, but I'm terrible at expressing serious emotions through words.

Posted by TruthTellah

@red12b: Those summer jams, man. I listened to them for a while yesterday. I've never really shared his taste in music(or Jeff's), but it darn well fits with the kind of man he was. It's exuberant, chill, hard, and everything in between, but most of all passionate and undeniably -there-.

@demoskinos: Yeah, I fortunately got some sleep. I just continue to feel for the crew, and I am not looking forward to the Bombcast with them finally talking about it. I know it'll hit me again when I listen to that.

@jams: heh. The murder slingshot sounds nice, but we've gotta live and keep Giant Bomb going to honor what Ryan has built.

@jiggajoe14 The laughs certainly help. I watched Dave's ThanksRyan tribute stream yesterday, and it was hilarious. Though, it's still relatively surreal, as I'm half expecting Ryan to make fun of us for getting all teary eyed over this.

@mrfluke It's definitely quite real. I was in disbelief, but I think writing this all down helped it settle into reality a bit more. I'm still struggling to imagine Giant Bomb without him. Heck, I'm struggling to imagine Jeff without him. But I imagine he will find a way. It's what Ryan would have wanted.

@kittiah That stream helped a lot. It's hard to find people in my life that I can talk to about this, and it helps to just share in it with the fine people around here. People from all over the world.

@herpderp Thanks, Herp. I've really enjoyed reading the many open and honest thoughts of other members on this. Despite being a relatively verbose fellow, I had a hard time knowing what to say yesterday, and listening to others helped me find my words again.

It's difficult to really address the kind of feelings we have in a moment like this, and I think the best thing to consider is that nothing we say is going to be just right. It's all going to be a bit of a shit show. And that's okay. Because even messy speech is a decent representation of how scattered our minds and hearts are right now. So fuck it. We can try to be articulate or meaningful on something serious like this if we like, but that's less important than just expressing ourselves openly in a time when you just want to kick and shout and slingshot things into the sun!

This fucking sucks. I hate it. I don't really understand it. And I both want to get over it and keep rejecting it. Over the years, I've come to accept my own death, but I still can't fully accept the death of someone else. Especially not so young. Not so suddenly. It feels like he's still there in the office getting ready to make some half-assed video that will somehow make me smile.

I know he's dead, but he's still far from gone.

Posted by TruthTellah

That Bombcast was rough. Great, but rough.

And once again, I didn't make time to eat and I'm still up as the sun comes up. A baloney sandwich at 7AM. ha. 8:30AM now.

I'm just stuck in that part where you feel like you don't even want to play or watch something that will make you feel good. Like it's not right to stop feeling bad and be happy. I think the Bombcast is the beginning of things moving forward. It's just tough at the moment.

Beyond that, here's a silly thing I made after the Bombcast...