Butterfly Effect

The Mittani news site reports that one of the four people killed in an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya was Sean Smith, known in Eve as Vile Rat, one of the old-guard Goonfleet members, probably one of the group’s best known diplomats, and member of the generally well-regarded sixth Council of Stellar Management, a player-elected group that brings player concerns to CCP, face to face.

In short, he was a guy who helped steer the helm of the one of the most influential groups in the game, interacted with all the other influential groups in the game, and represented player concerns to CCP. If you played EvE, odds are he said or did something that affected you every time you logged in, whether you knew it or not; whether you cared or not.

The internet is a weird place, and EvE no less so. I didn’t know this man, and my only interaction with Vile Rat was shooting at him a couple times last year when he flew through Curse on his way somewhere else. But I still found myself touched and a little misty as I read through memorials and eulogy posts by those who knew him better. He touched a lot of people, he was by all accounts a stand-up guy, he had a wife and family who were happy to fly with him to Iceland when he had to do internet-famous things, and he served in more than a few locations around the world that forced him to log out suddenly with nothing more than “Shit. Gunfire.” —  The quiet heroism of those who choose to serve their country despite the risks.

Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.