He was killed.As many will be aware Sean Smith, aka EvE Online player and key GoonSwarm member Vile Rat, was killed in the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Lybia. Many of the news reports about Vile celebrate his achievements both off-line and on-line; and so far I've not seen a single report that sneered at or trivialised the work to strengthen the EvE Online community - fitting. The comments from the EvE Community itself - very fitting.
Comments on About a spaceship:
OMFG, we have made progress!! Of course right next to that was the yet-another-correlation study about how kids who play violent video games are more likely to be pulled over by cops.
Really cool to see them rally. Does anyone know why Mr. Rat was hanging out in the American embassy in Libya?
Posted Sep 14, 2012 4:24:08 PM | link
He worked for the US Dept of State.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 4:29:35 PM | link
Yes, gamers are people and maybe it will take Zynga to persuade people that this is the case.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 4:38:34 PM | link
There are many, many touching comments and reactions from members of the EVE Community in response to Vile Rat's passing. The Mittani's obituary is worth reading.
I just wanted to share this image.
This image represents hundreds of players lighting Cyno's in (I think) the Goon's home system. One of the possible configurations of the in-game Map is to show active Cynos; the stars appear bigger and brighter when more cynos are lit. In EVE, some ships require 'Cynos' to be lit in destination system so that they can jump to that system. It is essentially a beacon shouting, 'come here' or, in this case, 'come home'.
Members of his community are currently organising a fundraising effort for his family. RIP. He will be missed.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 8:50:09 PM | link
Apologies for double posting, but you all may find this interesting.
At the ceremony honouring the four American's killed in Libya, Hillary Clinton spoke. Here's my (rough) transcript.
Today we bring home four american's who gave their lives for our country and our values. To the families of our fallen colleagues I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude. Sean smith joined the state department after 6 years in the air force. He was respected as an expert on technology by colleagues in Pretoria, Baghdad, Montreal and the Hague. He enrolled in correspondence courses at Penn State and had high hopes for the future. Sean leaves behind a loving wife, Heather, two young Children, Samantha and Nathan and scores of grieving family friends and colleagues. And that's just in this world, because Online, in the Virtual Worlds that Sean helped create, he is also being mourned by countless competitors, collaborators and gamers who shared his passion.
There you go Ren, even the Secretary of State of the USA celebrates his accomplishments in EVE Online.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 10:40:06 PM | link
CBC had a lengthy piece on their site:
The really impressive part was that they played it straight, as a human interest story about mourning in a different culture, explaining without even implying judgement.
Posted Sep 15, 2012 8:15:35 AM | link
@riftstalker I was just thinking about the importance of context, and how much of it is lost when we think of people merely as eyeballs or players. There has been a big push towards analytics-based decision-making (companies like Zynga), and a lot of nuance gets lost in the process. The kind of qualitative information revealed in those articles shows the heart and soul of a gaming culture. There is so much possibility but understanding such cultures inside-out is how we're going to invent the future of gaming.
Posted Sep 15, 2012 11:58:28 AM | link
I've been a friend of Vile Rat (Sean) for years, so i hope that excuses me posting this link for anyone who wants to help his wife, Heather, and their two children, as they try to rebuild a life without Sean: http://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=9332&url=benefitforseansmithsfamily
Our original target was 50,000 dollars but in a few days that's had to be revised upwards twice, and we've broken through the hundred thousand dollars mark. That should tell you a lot about Vile Rat's influence in Eve and on people who played Eve.
Posted Sep 27, 2012 7:58:22 AM | link