Ryan Davis, a.k.a. "Papa Bear," born on June 4, 1979, was a video game journalist and co-founder of Giant Bomb. His career in the industry began at GameSpot.com, where he initially worked in customer support before joining the editorial staff to write game reviews and later joining in on the production of video content. Davis regularly appeared on the GameSpot program On the Spot as Rich Gallup's co-host.
After eight years with GameSpot, Davis left the site in 2008 in the wake of Jeff Gerstmann's controversial dismissal stemming from corporate reception to his review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. Davis then briefly focused on his blog Arrow Pointing Down, but later announced that he and Jeff were partnering to found their own video game website. The start-up website would become known as Giant Bomb.
Ryan Davis passed away on July 3, 2013 of natural causes. He was thirty-four years old.
At Giant Bomb
After unofficially launching Giant Bomb in WordPress blog format, the official site went live in early July of 2008. Davis' most prominent public roles on the site included writing game reviews and participating in Quick Look videos. He also served as the host of the site's weekly podcast, the Giant Bombcast, as well as the MC of various live shows for Giant Bomb and the former Whiskey Media. Additionally, he produced and starred in a video series called This Ain't No Game (TANG) that examined, and often made fun of, movies based on video games.
While at GameSpot, Davis appeared with Gerstmann and Gallup in a short-lived comedic web series called Time Trotters. The first episode was a live-action short, comically labeled "Episode 19" despite there not being any previous episodes. The concept was then re-purposed as an animated show and given a more fleshed out story concept.
Time Trotters is a show about three guys and a robot who travel through time to save video games from being erased. The basic premise of the show is that Ryan and Jeff go back in time to save old, "classic" games from being erased from the timeline. Ryan and Jeff's commanding officer, the Chief, played by Rich Gallup, briefs them on which games need to be saved. The primary villain is a mysterious figure whose arm and assistant are the only things ever shown on screen. The villains own a website known as nuke.com, and they plot to steal games from the past, leaving it up to The Time Trotters to stop them.
Only two episodes of the animated show were produced. The pilot episode focused on Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. The second episode remained in rights limbo for years; its first public showing was at the Giant Bomb panel at PAX 2009 and was not included in the site's own recording of the panel. However, upon being acquired by CBSi, Giant Bomb regained the rights to use Time Trotters and released the previously "lost" episode, Time Trotters: Night Trap.
This Ain't No Game
Ryan also hosted a weekly show on Giant Bomb called "This Ain't No Game," TANG for short. The premise of the show was Ryan reviewing movies based on video games. In the show, Ryan made intellectual, well-constructed observations on the film he was reviewing. The show usually lasted a little over ten minutes, and new episodes were generally posted on Thursdays. The name of the program comes from the ludicrously inaccurate tagline of the Super Mario Bros. movie, "This ain't no game, it's a live-action thrill ride!"
Ryan liked to wear a black sweater with a collared shirt underneath when recording TANG, while also sporting a full-on beard. He has commented on the clothing by saying that it made him feel more "critic-y."
Season 1 of TANG ended on October 9th, 2009 with a review of Onechanbara: The Movie. Davis has stated that the reason for this is simply that he can't find any more movies based on video games to review. When it came to the question about anime films based off video games getting reviewed, Ryan Davis stated that he will not review any anime films. He also said that if he agrees to review anime, he would have to review the Pokémon films, of which there were twelve at last count, with a thirteenth to be released in Japan this summer.
On July 16th, 2010, Ryan began a new project called The Wonderful Universe of This Ain't No Game, which he referred to as a side project rather than the next full season of TANG proper. Instead of focusing on movies directly based on video games, the Wonderful Universe (which was given that name in order to make the acronym "WU-TANG") was about movies that feature video games, real or fictional, as an integral part of the plot. The first episode of The Wonderful Universe of TANG focused on the movie Tron, starring Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges.
TANG Episodes (Season One)
- Was an avid connoisseur and collector of New Balance 574's.
- When asked what his favorite game of all time was, Ryan responded with Super Mario Bros. 3.
- Ryan's arm tattoo spelled out "Mom" in binary.
- Wore a size 13 shoe.
- Ryan's favorite Pokémon was Koffing.
- Ryan was quoted in an issue of the New Yorker, on the subject of face and neck stabbing.
- Ryan had claimed that the music in level 2 (Junk Factory) of the X-Men arcade game is the best music in any video game, ever. "Because it's just full of voice samples and this sweet fake scratching - hip hop. Japanese, video game, comic book, hip-hop."
- Ryan was an Air Dolphin.
- Ryan thought that the Casual Racing game that he has spent the most time with is Crash Team Racing.
- Gave tours on a ferry.
- Ryan was building a vintage electronics den complete with a CRT TV, laserdiscs, tape-deck, and a top loading VHS player.
- "Pretended" to get giddy at the sight of virtual women's sex toys.
- Tended to shit his pants when he was having fun (often in McDonalds ball pits).
- Ryan thought the most fun to make Midnight Brown song was Too Hot.
- Hated Candy Corn, but liked Black Jack gum.
- Ryan is credited in the "Special Thanks" section of the Guitar Hero II manual, and others supposedly because they helped cover the first game.
- Wanted to murder the announcer of Motion Sports, for repeated and unnecessary re-introductions.
- Ryan Davis had been to Rome and could recognize the layout if he saw it in a video game.
- Hated fruit punch-flavored Four Loko.
- Once made a child cry after maliciously deleting a Pokémon from their game cartridge. Davis claimed he did this to make room for the Mewtwo he was distributing to the child's game at a Toys R' Us event.
- Hated Ghost Fish.
- Liked to call Jeff Gerstmann whenever he himself is on the "It's a Small World" ride at Disney Land, just to make him listen.
- Ryan could understand how someone could confuse Wario for him.
- Loved Nyquil.
- Was old friends with Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World. He saw him infrequently.
- On an episode of The HotSpot, Jeff Gerstmann let it be known that Ryan Davis was the man behind the Natalie Portman legality countdown website.
- Claimed to have gotten a "handy" from the mother of a child who incessantly complained, or bawled, about how "girly" the "Aqua Blue"-colored 3DS was when relinquishing the last "Cosmo Black"-colored 3DS to said child to gain karma points and receive the aforementioned "handy," or "handy J" as Jared Rea calls it.
- Didn't like GTA 2.
- Would have touched a bear.
- Had threatened to delete the entire Giant Bomb community as if it were a page on a website.
- Was willing to pet a real life panda bear, even if it meant going to a Chinese prison afterwards.
- Once had a thing going on with Jeff Gerstmann.
- Hated anything Android.
- Loved Mondays.
- Hated April Fools' Day.
- His step-mom makes a "pretty good stock slaw."
- Has become hopelessly addicted to "slaw."
- Claimed his dad was born in Oildale, CA.
- Revealed on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance TNT that he played the whole game on Easy back in 2006.
- Was also known by his street name White Citrus.
- Was a health and beauty pro and an expert at fluffing meat.
- Knew a lot about the Harlem Globetrotters.
- Had never eaten horse meat, but had eaten plenty of "horsey sauce."
- Favorite character from the Street Fighter EX series is Skullomania.
- Claimed the late 90's are "A fucking blur."
- Once upon a time, Ryan cared about Dragon Ball Z. He had actually retained a surprising amount of information about the series.
- At the PAX East 2013 Giant Bomb Panel, Ryan drank Certified! Anonymous Breast Milk for $200.
- Ryan had sat on a cake before. Bare-ass.
- Had a vintage JVC direct-drive turntable, which was his family turntable growing up.
- Loved onions.
- His middle name was Thomas.
- Once spent roughly $30 on domain names with Cards Against Humanity co-creator Max Temkin. http://whatsgoinginthetoilet.com was one of the domains purchased.
- Loved the Olympics.
- Was a big fan of Sid Meier's SimGolf.
- "Because I'm a dick, and I want to subject other people to that."
- "John McTiernan, master of modern fucking action movies. The man made Predator, God dammit! If you're gonna sit there and tell me Renny Harlin made a better movie than him, you are all assholes and I don't want to work with you anymore!"
- "Infinite beards!"
- "I don't rightly know, Jeff."
- "Suck on it, Ron Weasley."
- "Scissors get!"
- "I always get run over from behind."
- "Squoze" (Squeeze)
- "Bat-min" (Batman)
- "Ah-nime" (Anime)
- "Row-bit" (Robot)
- "Sa-wowrd" (Sword)
- "Pee-racy" (Piracy)
- "Bee-tah" (Beta)
- "Gre-nahd" (Grenade)
- "Hoo-mawns" (Humans)
- "Conci-eeerge" (Concierge)
- "Sha-raad" (Charade)
- "Shhiatt" (Chat)
- "Die-ablo" (Diablo)
- "Ri-doo" (Redux)
- "I'm just gonna say it: if you get shit on a carrot, you just throw it away. Don't even try to salvage that carrot."
- (Imitating Peter Molyneux) "How you treat my balls will impact the rest of the game world intrinsically."
- "Hold onto your fucking hats, gentlemen."
- "I could talk about Peter Molyneux's balls for a long time, but what I'd rather talk about... No, there's nothing I'd rather talk about right now than Peter Molyneux's balls!"
- (About Uwe Boll) "He's like the J.R.R. Tolkien of being shitty!"
- "At first I cringe, but I want more."
- "Walk the cow through a warm room, and then bring it to my plate." (on the subject of how rare the Bomb Squad prefers their steak)
- "I hate Socks."
- "That water effect sucks something furious."
- "Do we have any questions about puppies... rape... ritualized murder...?"
- "Fuck Bob Dylan!"
- "Fuck Mark Hamill."
- "Fuck you, Brad Garrett! I hope you burn in shit!"
- "Fuck your milk!"
- "If you close your eyes a little bit while you say something and then open them back up at the end... it makes it seem a lot more sensual that way. 'Craig, let's get real for a second.'"
- "Thing is playing ping-pong with another Thing..."
- "Ohh, you are a piece of crap that died and deserved to!"
- "Palette swap your mom."
- "No one should ever put clothes on a shark."
- "I've got a salty moustache."
- "I did not say, 'uh, uh, uh, uh, uh.'"
- "I love stabbin' dudes."
- "This is a tactical stealth action game, squad-based, class-based..." (on the subject of MX vs. ATV Alive)
- "Girl, let me see your turtles."
- "You know, up until the part where you died, I thought you were having a pretty good run there."
- "It's Family Go-Kart Racing! Buckle up, motherfuckers."
- "I hate Game Room so much."
- "I feel like I'm gonna throw up... but in a good way."
- "It's like I'm in a techno-womb."
- "You know, you're two nurses, Brad, but I don't think you stand a chance against Optimus fucking Prime."
- "This Quick Look is over!"
- "Hit the golf button! Hit the golf button!"
- "I love nuts."
- "The Kool-Aid Man never had a flamethrower."
- (Before playing Bowling in Kinect Sports) "I feel the sudden need for health insurance."
- (While playing Kinectimals, the tiger rubs his face against the screen) "The cat's rubbing one out on me."
- "I fucking hate Game Room."
- "Ladders. Fucking up video games since 1987."
- "What PopCap game do you think Master Chief would like the most?"
- "I wanna see hot, sweaty dudes! Touching each other! In their underwear!"
- "You need to spit on it first."
- (On Mindjack during the Mindjack Quick Look) "I fucking hate this game!"
- "My dick doesn't have tits."
- "I looooove Nyquil."
- "Let me put my hot blade inside you."
- "Nothing gets me excited like a couple of dead bodies."
- (While playing We Dare with Jeff during the Whiskey Media happy hour) "I have one at home, I named it Jean-Paul."
- (Deep Voice) " The clown does what it wants."
- "If there is a banana in the way, simply whack it off... the screen."
- "It's a magic fucking hammer, dog!"
- "I try not to affiliate myself with Canadians."
- "I don't believe in wheels."
- "Fuck you, Amazon!"
- "We must protect the van at all costs!"
- "Fuck you, Leland Yee."
- "Oh shit, Bears can swim!"
- "It's really easy to set things on fire when you mean to as well."
- "I wish we had some Dick's here, because I could just eat Dick's all day."
- "Ate that sandwich. Shoved that pickle inside of you."
- "Shove it down your cracker-hole."
- "Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck, goddammit! Son of a B!"
- "It's 18 years old, Daytona USA. You could fuck it if you wanted to."
- "YEAH! FUCK YOU!"
- "This is the results of trying to touch butts."
- "I can play Simon Says like a motherfucker."
- "Dirty buttholes."
- "It's dumb, but its not transcendentally dumb."
- "Gimmie that horsey sauce."
- "I want to straddle that horsey sauce. I would ride it straight to Hell!"
- "Get your mouth full of dicks with us. Dicks all over your face. It's gonna get everywhere. Fill you up with dicks."
- "CHINA DON'T CARE."
- "FUCK YOUR BOX!!"
- "I am the street!"
- "Fuck you very much, Jason Voorhees."
- "Thundercats for the Nintendo DS: Get Fucked."
- "I just magic'd in my pants."
- (discussing face huggers from Aliens) "They're basically sperm."
- "I want a game that is nothing but kicking dumpsters at enemies."
- "I'm an old man. I like turns."
- "AH DOG! DOG DOG DOG DOG DOG (etc.)"
- "Goku's like the Huell Howser of anime."
- "Socks are feet pants."
- "That's the line! That's the line, you can't feed your friend's leg to a robot."
- "She got a penitentiary body!"
Ryan was also known to use the following aliases:
- "Papa Bear"
- "White Grape"
- "Greek Donkey Kong"
- "Crazy Guts"
- "RYE ENDEIFF HISS"
- Ryan "Rage" Davis
- "Pig Sticker"
- "Nice Farmer Man"
- "Careen Abdul Jabbar"
- "Loramice Bearcharger" and "Nuribane Joysword" (his DnD names)
- "Virtua Davis"
- "DJ Fake Ryan Davis"
- "White Citrus"
- "Filthy Shanghai"
- "Asshole Davis"
- "Hat Judge"