Over the past year, Ryan Davis’ voice has been a near-constant voice to me. He brought a jovial exuberance to the table every time I heard him speak. A passion for his job, his friends, and just about everything else burned inside of him. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. I didn’t actually know him on a personal level. After all, I never met the man and now, I never will.
But I feel like I lost a friend.
Many podcasters’ voices have become comforting presences to me, and Ryan was one of the funniest, most endearing of them all.
Definitely the most high-spirited. I’ve listened to thousands of hours of the Giant Bombcast starring him, Jeff Gerstmann, Vinny Caravella, Brad Shoemaker, and Patrick Klepek. I remember being so excited just to watch their 2012 Game of the Year shows and I laughed my ass off as he played XCom: Enemy Unknown with the rest of the crew coaxing him into foolish actions. I remember Ryan drinking goddamned breast milk at Giant Bomb’s PAX East 2013 panel. Why would he do that? Because that’s just how he fucking rolled, apparently. And through all of these, I don’t ever remember Ryan being genuinely angry or hateful; sarcastic, witty, pointed, and irreverent, and always a comforting presence.
Just look at Giant Bomb right now and their forums to see the output of support. Search his name on Twitter and see the good vibes that the man’s memory conjures.
Now that presence is gone for all of us. Not just the thousands who all feel the same as I do, as though a perfect stranger was still also a good friend, but to his actual friends and family. I can’t even imagine how they must feel and I won’t try. I can only offer my most sincere condolences. If you didn’t see it, the outpouring of condolences, stories and sadness on Twitter from the video game community was extraordinary. Thousands of people cried out in unison “we love you, Ryan.” From his wife, to his closest friends, to the random people like me, we all felt some kind of loss. I cried today over the death of a stranger.
But I feel like I lost a friend I had known for a year.