While it initially feels like a trivialisation of a person’s memory to highlight his gaming career over his professional one, the US official killed in the Libyan riots yesterday, had a massive influence on space faring MMO Eve Online – enough that it’s worth noting.
Sean Smith, Vile Rat, as he was known in game, was considered by many as one of the most influential players in a game full of violence, where it is said he often advocated diplomacy as a way to solve disputes. Speaking about the man’s death, was his in-game and real life friend The_Mittani, who explained just how big an impact Smith had on Eve’s Universe: “If you play this stupid game, you may not realize it, but you play in a galaxy created in large part by Vile Rat’s talent as a diplomat. No one focused as relentlessly on using diplomacy as a strategic tool as VR.”
“You may not even know what Jabberlon5 is, but it’s the smoke-filled jabber room where every nullsec personage of note hangs out and makes deals. Goonswarm has succeeded over the years in large part because of VR’s emphasis on diplomacy, to the point of creating an entire section with a staff of 10+ called Corps Diplomatique, something no other alliance has. He had the vision and the understanding to see three steps ahead of everyone else – in the game, on the CSM, and when giving real-world advice,” Mittani continued.
Perhaps the most chilling part of the whole story is that Smith was on Jabber minutes before his death. Apparently he would often say he needed to disconnect temporarily and take shelter from mortars, but would always return. This time he said “GUNFIRE” and disconnected – never coming back online.
Mittani isn’t the only one playing tribute to the man. Those that own stations have been renaming them with titles like “Rest in Peace Vile Rat,” and “CU on the Other Side Rat.” There’s too many to detail, but you can check out the full list here.
There’s also a short video commemorating the man:
KitGuru Says: While Sean Smith’s real world achievements are nothing to scoff at either, his online influence within Eve was massive. He’ll be sorely missed by many and his time with them was certainly appreciated. He created a legacy that will stand the test of time – something we can all aspire too.