Why They Matter – Lessons Learned From Ryan Davis

Today’s news of the passing of Ryan Davis hit me hard today.  I never knew him personally, nor met him; but when I heard that he was gone, I was devastated.  Maybe it was because I knew that I would never hear, “It’s Tuesday,” in the same way again, or that because the Giant Bomb family was now one less.  Though, the longer it sits with me, the more I believe it is because we lost one of the most profound voices in the industry today.  He had a way of making anyone laugh, whether is was at his or their expense.  He asked the questions that needed to be asked, and then had no problem taking a 30 minute interlude to talk about lawn care.  His words were sharp, his wits sharper; his musical taste impeccable, and he would have found some way to jab at all of us for being so down today.  That’s just who Ryan was.


I think we all believed that, like all of our heroes, Ryan would be around forever.  A constant voice in all the noise, like so few can be.  I think that’s why it has hit so hard across the community; we never thought there would be a Tuesday without him.  There was this unsaid assumption that this was the way it was going to be forever.  It’s a bit naive when you say it all out loud, but it’s what we all thought.  Through some force of magic, Ryan had become a part of many of our lives; informing us, making us laugh, and inspiring so many of us, myself included, to try to be a part of that world.  Through his life, he taught us to never be afraid to be ourselves, to drive for what we want out of life, and through his relationships that friends will always be there for you.  I always wanted to meet Ryan; to tell him thanks; to blame him like so many others, for the love I have for this industry and those in it.  Yet now, it seems I won’t have that chance…and that sucks.


It got me thinking about all the other “voices” that I may take for granted; the people in the industry that by their presence, continue to push me and so many others to be a part of all this, and continue to make gaming a joyful passion.  There are so many names that would be on that list; that if they disappeared would have similar effects to today.  People like Jeff Gerstmann, Garnett Lee, John Davidson, Brian Altano, Greg Miller, Colin Moriarty, Brad Shoemaker, Stephen Totillo, Arthur Gies, and Anthony Gallegos have all become like close friends to me and many others through their work and podcasts.  They are luminaries and like Ryan did, make this place better for all of us.  Their unique voices, brand of humor, journalism, and style better the industry, remind us all why we fell in love with this to begin with, and consistently brings smiles to our faces.  The breadth of this life is too short for us to not be thankful for what we have now…and for what we had.


We were damned lucky to have someone like Ryan be a part of our lives, whether in large or in part.  My paltry sentiment is nothing compared to the deluge that the community is giving to those closest to him, yet I felt to offer mine along with.  It will be hard to realize the next time I hear the Bombcast that it won’t be Ryan reminding me what day it is; but such is the way of things, it seems.  I hope that one day I am lucky enough to be a part of the industry that he so enjoyed being a part of; to be a part of that legacy; to say that he, among others, was one of the reasons that I got there.  Thanks, Ryan…time for some Summer Jams.


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