Ryan Davis, 1979 – 2013, a Personal Memoriam
(Photo Credit: @Fobwashed)
There are not many events in the world that cause me to become truly sad. The last death of a related family member happened many years ago and I can remember vividly how tragic and sad of a time that it was, but I have been fortunate enough to not have to live through the experience of losing many family members or friends in recent times. However, upon hearing of the passing of Ryan Thomas Davis, editor and co-founder of Giant Bomb and long time video game journalist, I have been devestated as if I lost someone that I was related to. It is a weird thing to admit, since he was one of those “people who are ‘famous’ who you’ve never met in person”, but he left such a profound impact on the people that he touched, whether in person at events that he attended, with people that he interacted via Twitter or just with the content that he produced.
I got to “know” Ryan Davis back in the days when he was writing for GameSpot, over ten years ago. His talents at reviewing and discussing video games were up with the likes of Rich Gallup, who hosted many of the media-driven shows at GameSpot at the time. Then, five years ago, during the time when Jeff Gerstmann was fired from GameSpot, Ryan and a close knit group of others quit GameSpot in order to start their own website, which came to be what we know today as Giant Bomb. I was a member of Giant Bomb from its inception, following them because I knew that they were the creators of the best video game content on the web. While Jeff took up the role of Editor In Chief, Ryan took on the hosting roles for their media content, such as their immensly popular podcast called the Giant Bombcast, or their live streaming shows that they regularly produced.
In its current form, Giant Bomb hosts a good collection of weekly content, including their podcast every Tuesday, their live streamed multiplayer show every Thursday and their fun, live nonsense show every Friday. Watching all of this content made it so that we, the fans, got to really know the staff of Giant Bomb more than we get to with many other websites. Ryan always provided an entertaining and interesting personality with the content that he produced and based on the comments by his close friends and peers, this personality wasn’t just on camera. And a unique piece of their podcast, the Giant Bombcast, was that they spoke regularly about their lives and the things that they liked, almost as much as they spoke about actual video games. It gave you an insight more into the people behind the site that you just don’t get almost anywhere else.
Sadly, I never knew Ryan personally. But I feel as if he was a part of my household. Having consumed so much content with him in it, and having GiantBomb.com be my primary source of information about video games on the web, it just became normal to see him every week. When I heard of his passing earlier this week, I was devestated more than I expected that I would be. I became used to the fact that, every Wednesday morning upon arriving at work, I would download the Giant Bombcast to hear Ryan welcoming me to the show saying, “Hey everyone, it’s Tuuueeesssday”, and everytime I think about it, it pains me to think that I won’t ever hear those words come from him again. And you can tell by the outstanding outpouring of support from the community that this has hit everyone equally as hard as it has me.
Throughout all of the saddness, however, we have to remember all of the good things that he gave us. Over the past few days, I have been watching the forums on Giant Bomb and rewatching or relistening to other peoples’ favorite content that Ryan was in, and I still laugh at much of it, knowing that he provided such good entertainment during his unfortunately short lifetime. And hearing from those close to him saying that he was always a bubbly personality brings me a small happiness, knowing that he lived a very fulfilling life and spread that joy to those around him. He was a pinnacle in the video game community and that has resonated throughout it as many of these types of blog posts and articles have appeared over the course of this week, shedding light on to how much he really meant to the community that he built and affected.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and his friends who he meant so much to. I cannot even imagine how they must feel at a time like this, knowing that Ryan was taken at a much too young age of 34. Especially after, just this past weekend, he was married to his wonderful wife. All of this brings into perspective how fragile life can be; that even when things are looking to be at their best, we have to take every day for granted, as it may be our last. I like to think that this past weekend was the happiest weekend of his life, so he was given the opportunity to experience true happiness before he passed. I aspire to live a life similar to his, to enjoy my days and enjoy the life that has been given to me, as he did. Ryan Davis was an outstanding man in the video game industry and in life. And the video game industry has the best community in the world.