It's a weird thing, death.
We're exposed to it almost on a daily basis. We play video games, we watch the news and we watch films. Yet nothing can ever really prepare us for the real thing. When an actuall person that has affected your life in some way is suddenly gone, it's a raw feeling that can't possibly be described, and one you can't prepare yourself for. It leaves an empty place in your heart, and part of your life feel changed forever.
I've never really had to deal with death directly. Not pre-mature death anyway. I've had friends of friends pass away, and people I knew OF but maybe not personally. Which might've made these past few days particularly weird for me.
I was 10 years old in 2003, and as an annoying little kid who recently got into video games "seriously", Gamespot was, for the following years, my go to website and nr. 1 source of information on the subject. I would religiously watch "On the Spot", listen to the "Hotspot" and fell in love with the personality of the crew.
I basically grew up with hearing Ryan's voice, reading his reviews and laughing at his jokes. For almost 10 years he has been a major part of my life, even if I didn't realize it until a day or two ago. Video games and Gamespot/Giantbomb have always gone hand in hand in my mind, without one or the other it simply wouldn't be the same.
Ryan has always had the amazing ability to always be entertaining, and at the same time being the middle point holding it all together when it gets crazy. A grounded, honest presence that also seemed to have unlimited love for the ridiculous. And I think that's where he had the biggest impact on my life.
I learned over the years to really appreciate dumb shit. To really see the charm in something that I previously would have dismissed. And I realized, that's Ryan. That's something he has inspired, and I will forever love him for that.
This is a person I've never met in my life, I didn't know the guy. Yet it felt kind of like I did, and I don't want people who knew him to take offense from that. But after all these years, and the honest way he presented himself, it feels like I've lost a friend.
I couldn't bring myself to even write something until now, I've been in total shock since I heard the news. I cried over someone I haven't met. And that should be a testiment to what kind of a guy he was (or seemed to be). Video games have been forever changed for me, it simply doesn't feel the same anymore. Ryan had that much of an impact on me, and on the industry.
I feel like I'm rambling here, and I thought this would be a short post... I would just like to send my condolences to Ryans wife, his family and his friends. And I hope that the rest of the guys know that they can take all the time they need to recover, we won't go anywhere. The bombcast yesterday was amazing, and I have to applaud you for doing that, it gave some of us some closure and it was incredibly strong of you.
So thank you Ryan for all these years, for being part of my growing up, and for the endless hours of entertainment. We will miss you buddy, and we love you.