Thank you.

Thank you, to everyone at Giant Bomb. I began listening to the Hotspot in October 2005. I remember the episode exactly - Rich Gallup, Jeff, Bob Colayco, and Carrie Gouskos talked about Xbox 360 launch games, the upcoming Uwe Boll Postal movie, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. It was a perfect preview of what would become a weekly event for me for the next eight years. Ever since then, the people now involved with Giant Bomb have been a part of my life, and in a lot of ways I wouldn't be the person I am today without you all.

Thanks to Jeff and Ryan for teaching me it's okay to unironically love super dumb things. Thanks to Jeff and Vinny for getting me to play Persona 4, which I never would have considered playing on my own but has become one of my favorite games of all time. Thanks to Alex for writing that Guitar Hero II wishlist and his album-of-the-year features back on Gamespot, which led to me listening to a bunch of those songs for the first time and introduced me to some of my favorite bands today. Thanks for putting together PAX events that are some of the most fun I have all year. Thanks to everyone for providing something reliable and constant for me, so that no matter what bizarre turns my life took, I could always count on being able to laugh for a few hours every Tuesday night. It helped in times when I really needed it.

And thanks to all of you for letting us in. I've often thought it must be incredibly weird putting so much of yourself out there for the entire internet to see - I'm the kind of person who hesitates to use his real name or face because I'm just way more comfortable living behind an alias. But when you let us in to witness even a little bit of your lives, we felt like we were part of it. A lot of people have said that losing Ryan feels like losing a friend, because that's the relationship you built with us. A weird, one-way sort of friendship, but a friendship nonetheless. At times I've wondered what you guys get out of this friendship, but now in the face of tragedy I think I see the advantage. You've given us so much, the least we can do is share a bit of your grief.

"Larger than life" is one of my favorite things I've seen people describe Ryan as. What else could he be? How else could his impact reach out so far to people he never knew? And if his death hurts so much for me, a total stranger, how painful must it be for those who were close to him? I can't fathom how deep the loss must be for the friends and family of Ryan. But at the same time, I'm incredibly jealous. Because reading all the fantastic eulogies his friends have written, I would gladly take the greater pain if it meant I'd known him better. I wish I'd had the opportunity to be friends with him, because it sounds like that was a fantastic experience.

I wish I'd said all this sooner. I wish I'd had one more chance to tell Ryan while he was still with us how much his work meant to me. I wish I'd thanked him for the small things - thanking him for introducing me to a game in a Quick Look I'd wound up really liking. Thanking him for making me laugh with a dumb joke on Twitter. Thanking him for retweeting a few of my dumb responses over the years and making me feel like I was a really funny guy, even briefly. Thanking him for, in whatever small way, changing my life for the better.

I can't thank Ryan anymore. I can only thank his memory. But I can still thank the rest of Giant Bomb. Everyone involved with this big, dumb thing I love. Thanks to Jeff, Brad, Vinny, and Patrick. Thanks to Alex, Matt, Alexis, and Dave. Thanks to everyone who was a part of Whiskey Media. Hell, I'll spread the love even further: thanks to the cast of interns, to all of you who were connected to Giant Bomb only briefly but still managed to make some of my favorite content while you were there. Thanks to everyone who was part of Gamespot back in the day. What you all do, what you've built, is important to me. And while every Tuesday from now on is going to be a little bit sadder, it's going to continue to be important to me.

I wish I could give you more. I wish I could help you through tough times in the way you've always helped me. But if all I can really give you is my gratitude, that's better than nothing.


My finalized Extra Life plans

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You see this stack right here? This is what I'm calling Crap Mountain, and I'm going to descend it this Saturday for my 24 hour Extra Life livestream. I've got 12 bad games and I'm gonna play every one of them for two hours each, soliciting donations all the while. I'm also gonna be taking Skype calls with the account JohnDudebro, so anyone watching will be able to call in and chat about whatever dumb game I'm playing at the time.

All the games cost me about a hundred bucks, so if donations break $100 I'll consider this a net win. So check out my Extra Life page for donating and my page for the stream, and tune in! It's gonna be fun!

Here's the schedule of games (all the times are Central):