As easy as it is to be critical of gamer culture, one of the things that make me proud to be a gamer is when others flood in game to help place memorials or support those who have lost friends or family in the real world.
Mainstream media tends to focus on those whom were famous and have a memorial placed inside a game, but just as equally companies and gamers have placed many memorials or linked coordinates to a special place in a specific game and have shown their own kind of memorial for even average players.
This is amazing to me. Gamers as a culture have been marred by the controversy of Gamergate, there is far more to gamer culture than a few who are sexist towards women. The truth is that gaming culture is a community, and a strong one. When someone passes who has had a love for a specific game, companies and gamers have shown their support in various ways.
Here are some of my favourite examples.
Robin Williams – World of Warcraft
The most well known example is when Robin Williams passed away. The famous actor, unknown to many, was a huge fan of World of Warcraft. Robin can be found in the Warlords of Draenor expansion area as a Genie on an island off of Talador’s coast as a homage to his character Genie from Aladdin. Players can also find a broken egg and human in reference to Mork and Mindy, as well as references to Ms Doubtfire and Toys. Robin was such a lover of games that he named his daughter Zelda, after a special princess in a popular game. Yes that Zelda.
Michael Mamaril – Borderlands 2
During the development of Borderlands 2 Gearbox received an email from one of Michael’s friends mentioning how much of a fan he was of Borderlands. They had a simple request, to have a eulogy spoken by Claptrap. Not only did Gearbox release a eulogy, they went above and beyond by making Michael an NPC in the game. He is an NPC that spawns randomly throughout Sanctuary, and when you find him he will offer a new weapon. You also get a Trophy for finding him, Tribute to a Vault Hunter.
Kutetsu Valefor – Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV has been a great community when it comes to rallying gamers to honour those who have passed in real life. Kutetsu was a gamer who played across both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV in the Free Company Vibe, sadly in 2015 he lost his battle with cycstic fibrosis. A month later in his honour, a funeral procession commenced and was surrounded by hundreds of players on the Hyperion server who wished to show their support.
Codex Vahlda – Final Fantasy XIV
Again FFXIV shows how strong of a community the servers are. After posting a notice in Reddit about the death of his friend, Pattmyn found that the vigil planned in front of the Free Company House for Codex exploded on the server Gilgamesh. Hundreds of players sat down in quiet vigil to honour the loss of Codex in game.
Pauline – Minecraft
When Pauline died of Ovarian Cancer, her husband in his grief decided to build a memorial for her in the game they played together, Minecraft. The memorial is massive, and equally impressive, especially after finding out he built and designed the structure on his own totaling two months of work.
Taylor – Skyrim
Taylor tragically drowned in 2013, in her grief his sister wanted to memorialize him in the best way she could. Through the games he played. Although Skyrim is not an online game, she felt that it was apt to show where his player character’s final place was in the game and released the coordinates. This has lead to many players putting their own memorials in their saved games and by placing flowers. His character has not moved since his death, as she felt it wouldn’t be his character any more if she tried to move him.
Sarah – Mechwarrior Online
Sarah was the youngest player (at 5 years old) to play the online game, so when the young lady succumbed to Brain Cancer, the company Piranha decided to do something wonderful in her honour. For two months you could buy a custom mech based on hers with all of the proceeds going towards research at the Canadian Cancer Society. The limited mech raised $122,330 for the charity.
Rall Oldroar – Guilwars 2
Rall was a member of a guild since the Dark Age Of Camelot, so when Guild Wars 2 was announced he was super stoked to play it. Unfortunately the veteran player never saw the game live. His guildmates, in his honour, petitioned ArenaNet for a memorial in the game in the form of a named server after him. And they petitioned hard. ArenaNet not only named a server after him, but they went a step further and created a landmark available on any server in Guild Wars 2. By talking to a custom NPC, Historian Goshkia, players can hear the story of Tribune Rall Oldroar.
Jeff Freeman – Star Wars Galaxies
Jeff Freeman was a game designer and at the time of his death, the gameplay designer for Star Wars Galaxies. After his death, the production crew decided to place a memorial in the game to honour this man, whose career was cut short with the creation of the Freeman Memorial in game.
Know of any I missed? Send me a message.