We Live Among Giants, and We Cannot See Them
Posted by Corelin
Sean “Vile Rat” Smith was killed in a consulate in Libya this morning/last night. He was on jabber with his friends as the rockets came in. In Iraq in 2006 I went on daily patrols, I didn’t let on quite how frequent, or how dangerous they were to my friends. I didn’t want them to worry. In 2008/2009 when I came back I barely left the FOB. I know the jarring feeling of being safe and online and being suddenly reminded how things can change so fast. This morning I felt it from the other side. Seeing that he had dropped off but having that sliver of hope, that this giant of EvE wasn’t confirmed dead yet. When Secretary of State Clinton announced his name this morning that hope died.
First I want to express my sympathies to his family. Their loss is enormous. Their pain is infinite, their fear and frustrations unfathomable.
Second I want to end the hate. Islam didn’t kill Sean Smith. Ignorance killed him. People who can get so fired up over a fucking Youtube video that they forget their humanity, forget the decency and fragility of mankind and give in to their basest instincts killed him. Leaders who fire up those feelings over a pittance killed him.
Third I want to point out he was a giant. He helped build an Empire. He helped build a community so powerful, so complex, so widespread that one of the earliest reports of this attack and his own death was on a News Site he’d masterminded the founding of. A site so widespread and with such impact that The Guardian picked up the report. I didn’t know him, I think we communicated once and I can’t find the EvE mail. But if you’d told him a year ago his death would be reported on an EvE News site and that that story would be linked on The Guardian he’d have laughed at you. He built Empires and he Destroyed them. His impact was felt by literally everyone logging in to the game whether they knew it or not.
Hundreds of Stations in Null have been renamed. Friends, Enemies, everyone is clearly affected by this tragedy. We, as a community, remember that this is a game. We, as a community, recognize the tragedy that supersedes all of what we encounter in EvE. We, as a community will miss Vile Rat.
Finally, that irreverent voice in the back of my head tells me the memorials should say “RIP Vile Rat. Shot by Blues”