Friday, September 14, 2012

RIP Vile Rat

Someone who's never played an MMOG wouldn't really know. Someone who's never really participated in a virtual reality "game" like Second Life wouldn't get it.

But something about this story touches me very deeply. I feel deeply for the loss of his avatar.

RIP Vile Rat

In the news, it was just some unnamed diplomat who was killed, one of the "three others" in most news stories. But over the next few days, it became known that Sean Smith, who was just killed in Libya on Sept. 11, was also Vile Rat, a leader in the MMOG EVE.

And that is what strikes me with sadness. His friend in this article speaks so eloquently of the way this man always fought for diplomatic solutions in his persona of Vile Rat, indeed, built them into the game. The man who lived this in real life, brought his diplomacy to this game that brought him joy in his downtime.

And in real life, he is gunned down brutally by extremists who undoubtedly would not listen to reason, or diplomacy.

At the time of his death, Sean Smith, was connected, as he always was, as most of us who live online are, to his online friends. Usually, in Baghdad and elsewhere he worked, there would be gunfire, and he would eventually come back, to play again.

This time, he didn't. And all the impact he was making as a diplomat in EVE ended. All the impact he was making in the real world, by volunteering to live in massively turbulent areas that most of us wouldn't dream of going near, his voice is now silenced.

It is tragically sad. I sincerely hope that the makers of EVE create a very special place for Vile Rat. Never let him, and his tragic death on yet another September 11, be forgotten.

Long live diplomacy. Long live Vile Rat.

News of his death

MSNBC coverage



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