While gamers can sometimes squabble over the little things, like which console is better, the gaming community is nonetheless a tightly-knit one. It’s no surprise, then, that when the community loses one of their own, fellow gamers are eager to reach out and honor the gamer that’s passed away. Some of these have been mind-boggling in their size and scope, while others are quiet tributes to the memory of the gamer.
While some game developers themselves have taken it upon themselves to create a tribute to fallen gamers, oftentimes it’s the gamers themselves who rally behind the memory of the gamer. Here’s a look at some of the most moving tributes to gamers who’ve passed away.
The Fathers of Gaming
Whether or not most gamers have ever sat down to play a tabletop RPG, there’s no argument that without tabletop RPGs, the modern-day video game may never have come to be. With classic titles like Gauntlet and The Elder Scrolls heavily basing their games on the classic Dungeons & Dragons archetypes, as well as the skill and experience systems, gaming would have taken a very different path without the classic tabletop RPG, Dungeons & Dragons.
Sadly, the creators of D&D, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, have passed away. Gygax passed in 2008, followed just a year later by Arneson in 2009. Thankfully, before they passed, Gygax and Arneson both provided dungeon master voiceovers for select quests in Dungeons & Dragons Online. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that the MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online would create in-game shrines to honor the co-creators of the original D&D.
The shrines to these two legends can be found in Delera’s Graveyard and the Ruins of Threnal, respectively, providing a fitting tribute to the thousands of worlds that these two helped to inspire.
Remembering a Brother
Losing a family member, especially when they pass away before their time, is probably one of the worst things a person can experience. One such tragedy happened for Redditor Lastrogu3, who decided to stay connected to the memory of his late brother, Taylor, by regularly booting up his last save in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. In doing so, he could experience what Taylor had last seen in-game before dying in the real world. He noted that he never moved from the spot, wanting to just take in the last scene Taylor had witnessed.
After posting his story on Reddit, commenters requested to know exactly where the spot was so they could visit it and pay their respects in their own copies of Skyrim. The original poster complied, and modders took it a step further, creating a memorial mod that would add a stone to their game at the location he’d last played.
A Memorial in the World He Designed
Jeff Freeman was a game designer who worked on titles like Ultima Online and as the Lead Gameplay Designer for Star Wars Galaxies. Sadly, in 2008, Freeman committed suicide, cutting short a bright career in the gaming industry.
As a result, a memorial was placed within Star Wars Galaxies, called ‘The Freeman Memorial,’ paying tribute to his memory and efforts to create the game. The memorial included the text: “The Freeman, gone but not forgotten. Thank you for all your works of wonder. You will be missed.”
Fans Petition, Blizzard Delivers
When Robin Williams passed away in 2014, his death sent a ripple of sorrow through people all over the world, who had loved watching his acting and comedy career. Gamers may have experienced the blow even more profoundly than others, though, knowing they’d lost one of their own, as Williams was an avid gamer himself.
Robin Williams had enjoyed games like World of Warcraft, and even went so far as to name his daughter after the title princess from The Legend of Zelda.
Following his death, fans petitioned Blizzard to create an in-game NPC based off of Williams, which amassed over 10,000 signatures. Blizzard acknowledged the request and promised to find a way to fit Robin Williams into World of Warcraft. Blizzard made good on the promise, as fans soon found NPC models in the Warlords of Draenor expansion based on Williams and his famous movie roles, like Mrs. Doubtfire and the Genie from Aladdin.
Dads of Destiny
When Joshua, aka TheSquashPhD, passed away due to cystic fibrosis, his Destiny clan, Dads of Destiny, was determined to create a fitting tribute to honor their friend. After reaching out to the community, an astounding 250 players responded, offering video clips of their own Destiny Guardians saluting, honoring, or firing off their weapons in memory of TheSquashPhD. Dads of Destiny subsequently pieced the clips together and created the memorial video seen above, immortalizing the Guardian.
Final Fantasy XIV Vigil
One particular event in Final Fantasy XIV is the ultimate example of bringing gamers together, even across servers. In honor of his friend, Codex Vahlda, Redditor Pattmyn posted a small notice to the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit. The post simply noted that Codex Vahlda of the Gilgamesh server was passing away in real-life from renal failure, and that his Free Company leader had bestowed a special rank upon his character to honor him.
The community, however, didn’t let it stop there. Pattmyn chronicled the event in images as player after player appeared in front of their Free Company, kneeling quietly in vigil for Codex. In a matter of hours, the number exploded, with hundreds of players on the Gilgamesh server pouring into the guild area to pay their respects.
If that wasn’t enough to touch hearts, gamers who weren’t on the same server weren’t going to let that keep them from paying their respects. Gamers flocked to the same location on their own servers, showing solidarity and honoring the man in his last moments. The vigil continued for several days after he passed away.
Have you ever participated in a tribute to a gamer that’s passed away? Is there a tribute that you think deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.