Ryan Davis: 1979-2013

Like many of you, I was shocked to hear of long time video games personality Ryan Davis’ sudden passing when the news broke earlier today. He was a beloved personality who was deeply knowledgeable as well as respected within the industry by fellow journalists, the creators and the fans who love interactive entertainment.

Ryan was perhaps best known for departing GameSpot in the wake of his close friend Jeff Gerstmann’s firing as well as their subsequent reunification at Giant Bomb, a much more personal and free flowing video game site that has spawned a legion of hardcore fans including yours truly. Along with hosting the incredibly popular Giant Bombcast weekly audio show, he also hosted the hilarious This Ain’t No Game series on video game to movie adaptations as well as a nearly ubiquitous presence in Quick Looks, Mailbags and every other feature on the site.

To state that Ryan Davis meant a lot to those who knew him personally and/or professionally would be a gross understatement. The outpouring of love and condolences since the news broke has been overwhelming, and even fans who only knew him from videos, reviews and the Bombcast have flooded the Internet with condolences and anecdotes.

I never met Ryan personally, a regret that will now always stay with me. I’ve had a chance when attending the PAX live shows or the get togethers that happen afterwards, but I never quite got to it between choosing to meet Jeff at PAX Prime 2011 instead and conking out back at the hotel ASAP after an often grueling Friday to launch the shows. I always figured “He’ll always be at PAX, it will happen someday” and now I feel dismayed that it never will.

That said, I feel honoured that he always took the time to seriously and thoughtfully answer my questions at the live PAX shows from the long lines that formed. I will always remember Ryan playfully shouting me down at East 2012 when I (over)enthusiastically ran to get in the questions line, which was a great example of his spontaneity and fun loving spirit.

This sporadic gaming journalism experiment is also almost entirely the result of Ryan and Jeff post-Gamespot, when their Arrow Pointing Down podcast led to How to Build A Bomb and the DIY, close knit band of rebels that we now know and love as Giant Bomb. If Play With Pixels ever amounts to something big (and in spite of its historically infrequent content schedule, I hope it will), Ryan will be a hugely influential reason behind it.

In the end, we have lost one of the true greats in video games and more importantly, an integral part of the lives of his family, friends and fans. Happy trails, Ryan: we’ll make sure that your legacy of boisterous enthusiasm, charm and sincerity will endure.

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