Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Project: Create - Day 09

Today's submission for Project: Create was supposed to be video. Tom and I spent most of the afternoon filming, laughing, and sweating our bastard bollocks off in the midsummer heat to bring you a video. I've spent most of the evening trying to get it up onto YouTube, but to no avail - computer crashes, data corruption, and eventually just plain disinterest have all combined to quash those plans for today. If all goes well I should be able to get it up for tomorrow.

Instead, I've ended up writing something related to the bad news I alluded to in my Day 08 post. For those of you who don't know, in addition to this blog, I also maintain a video games blog on a website called Giant Bomb (there should be a link at the top of this page). I've been a frequent visitor to the site for almost five years now, primarily due to the brilliant content put out by the site staff. Yesterday, we were told that one of the site founders, Ryan Davis, passed away last week. Despite not knowing the guy, the news absolutely knocked me for six. In attempt to try and better come to terms with it, I've written a blog in Ryan's memory. The original is available at Giant Bomb, and if you'd prefer to read it there you can do so here. Otherwise, I've copied over the bulk of the text below:

I know a lot of people on this site are writing blog posts in light of the terrible news we've received this week. I realise everything that needs to be said has already been said by others much more eloquent and affected than myself, but reluctant though I am to go over well-walked ground, I feel an urge to post something of my own, if only as a means of personal catharsis. I'm not posting this to the forums - there are more than enough threads already open in memory of Ryan, and I don't wish to add to them. Selfish though it may sound, this is more for me than it is for anyone else.

I'm not a prominent force in the Giant Bomb community, by any stretch of the imagination. As such, I was never fortunate enough to exchange words with Ryan, either online or in person, and I deeply envy those who did. Yet in spite of this, the news of his passing still hit me like an anvil falling at terminal velocity. I think that's a fitting testament to the kind of guy Ryan was - once encountered, never forgotten. Despite his acerbic tongue and dry cynicism, he was an instantly likeable character - indeed, it may well have been those things that drew me towards him in the first place. Although I was merely a fan of his work and nothing more, his personality and manner made him feel more like a friend than a journalist I respected, and while I'll forever be grateful for that incredible rapport, it has made coming to terms with this news incredibly difficult. The thought that his presence will no longer be felt on this site makes me feel empty inside.

Along with Jeff and Brad, Ryan was one of the three key figures that I followed over from Gamespot a little over five years ago. While Brad was always the guy whose tastes most clearly matched my own, Ryan was the one I felt like I could identify with most on a personal level as a fellow cynic. Brad was my go-to guy for reviews, but Ryan's presence on a video practically guaranteed entertainment that was on my wavelength. There are simply too many of his Quick Looks that captured my heart for me to number, so I'm not even going to try. His deconstruction of video game movies in his own series 'This Ain't No Game' was required viewing for as long as it ran. At the other end of the spectrum, his interviews with game developers were wonderful to watch, his likeability managing to transform any interview scenario into something more closely resembling drinks with friends at a local bar. As gaming journalists go, he was one of the very best.

If there's one thing that I will personally remember Ryan for, it's the fact he introduced me to Assassin's Creed. His love for the series, which manifested on the site in the form of some excellently-written reviews and highly entertaining Quick Looks, was practically transferred to me through osmosis as I absorbed the content. I went out and bought the games on his good word, and fell hopelessly in love with the whole franchise. Assassin's Creed II is without doubt one of my favourite games of this generation - hell, one of my favourite games of all time, even - and I never would have played it if it wasn't for Ryan.

Last night I raised a glass and pumped out some choice Summer Jams in honour of Ryan Davis. Pretty soon, I think I'm going to get stuck into Assassin's Creed: Revelations and rediscover my love for that franchise all over again, as a means of thanking him for opening my eyes to those games. In the coming weeks and months my thoughts and love will be with Anna, Jeff, Brad, Vinny, Patrick, all Ryan's friends and family, and with his larger family - the Giant Bomb community.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Ryan, but your post made me wish I had. It's hard to comment in any sense on a post like this as it's so personal - I'll just say that you remembered him well.