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Ryan Davis, RIP

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The news is sad and brutal. Ryan Davis, 34, longtime Senior Editor at Giant Bomb passed away last week just a few days after getting married.

Davis' passing was announced today by his heartbroken colleagues at Giant Bomb. No cause of death was given.


It's always too soon. It's always so painful. We always wish we had more time with them.

Like many of you, I got to know him through his media presence. I was late to the Gamespot shows he did with Jeff Gerstmann, but I was a loyal listener to the Giant Bombcast for years. At first I couldn't tell the difference between Ryan and Jeff's voices, which seems weird now. I figured it out quickly enough. Ryan's was the one that was quicker to laugh. Well, it was more of a giggle, wasn't it? On the show he seemed ever-cheerful. He was our affable host. He seemed eternally gracious.

A few years ago, he started letting me appear on the Bombcast. These would be the main times I would see him from year to year, and so my mental image of him is sitting behind some audio equipment, headphones on, eyes darting at whatever they need to dart at while making the best gaming podcast on the Internet.

Ryan invited me to be on the Bombcast again during E3 2012. I think I was an okay guest on Ryan's podcast. I tried to be informative. I didn't try to be funny. The other guys and guests were funny. They'd be the ones to make him laugh. Still, I didn't feel good about my showing. I saw Ryan the next day. Ran into him at E3 where he was unusually smartly-dressed (that's photo proof in the image up top). I am not an insecure person, but I told him about my doubts and second-guesses. Don't worry about it, he said. He told me I did fine. But maybe I should have been in a different segment with the newsier people? No, he told me. He wanted me in the segment I was in. He wanted that mix of personalities. It was just what he had hoped for. He had a kindness and a confidence about the whole thing that stuck with me. He was a good guy. His warmth was infectious. He knew when to be kind, when to needle and when to lend support.

I've mostly interacted with Ryan through Twitter and Facebook. I was delighted to see he'd tied the knot. I'm now crushed that he is gone.

My and all of the Kotaku team's hearts go out to Ryan Davis' family and friends. I've got a couple of Bombcasts on my iPhone and now I think I may never listen to them. I like the idea that there will always be some new laughter of his to hear. So long, Ryan. I look forward to hearing you again.


UPDATE: Here's a great thread from Giant Bomb readers where they're posting favorite memories of Ryan.

UPDATE 2: Read Justin McElroy's wonderful tribute to Ryan over at Polygon.

UPDATE 3: An oh-so-perfect tribute site,, from his colleague and friend Dave Snider.


UPDATE 4: A touching note of remembrance from journalist Jenn Frank and a nice illustration of Ryan from artist Olly Moss.

UPDATE 5: (via Twitter)

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo