Remembering River

High Latency Rememberance

highlatencylife_banner I am at a bit of a loss of words on how exactly to start this post.  Yesterday was a very sad day for the gaming blogosphere.  It was early afternoon when we got the news through a post on his blog, and the sorrow reverberated through the community like the aftershocks of an earthquake.  Christopher Cavelle, the man we know better as River the author of the “A High Latency Life” blog passed away due to complications from an emergency surgery.  It seemed like we had all just talked to him the other day, and it seemed absolutely impossible that this man was now dead.  He had recently gotten into the Warlords of Draenor Alpha program for World of Warcraft, and the last discussion I had personally was with him regarding his excitement.  So it seems completely impossible that he is now gone.

River was like this elemental force of mischief.  He had a way of showing up at exactly the right time and adding exactly the right quip to any conversation that involved him.  While often bawdy, he carried with it a genuineness that made everyone love him, even if they were on the opposite side of a discussion from him.  The way he crafted his blog was a thing of beauty and something I can only aspire to be able to do.  He could take a rant and wrap it in an easy to swallow coating of humor that made you forget why you might be mad about his point of view by the end of the reading.  It will always be his sense of humor that I remember the most, because he had this unique often self deprecating style that just worked.  Even when he was being aggro, there was this loveable curmudgeon characteristic to it that made you smile.

A Small Tribute

vi_cosplay The other characteristic that his blog was most known for was the fact that he almost always included a scantily clad woman to go along with his post.  Unfortunately this was also the reason why I generally kept his blog out of my feed reader due to the often “not quite safe for work” nature.  My boss has always had a habit of just swinging by my desk the moment I decide to take a break and read some of my RSS feed, and the last thing I needed was a picture of a woman doing questionable things to an ice cream cone sitting there.  This however became one of those hallmarks that the community joked about, and yesterday when the news broke Syp suggested that today we all post a “scantily clad woman” in honor of @TheeRiver.  So today I am following that suggestion and posting some really awesome Vi cosplay, since she is not only amazingly hot…  but a brutal force to be reckoned with.

One of my regrets going forward will be that I never really got to know River on a personal level.  He was genuinely one of the nicest people on twitter, and was quite literally one of the first people to ever befriend me.  But I feel like I only really knew him on a surface level.  There were many times where it felt like we were friends mostly through the other friends we happened to have in common.  For me at least, I tend to get extremely close to someone when we share a guild or have struggled through something together, and that just never seemed to work out right.  You can measure the weight of a person by the impact they have on their community, and this man left so many people changed in his wake.  Recently he had gone through his own change when he decided to take an impromptu poll on the topic of gender and gaming.  HIs post “Yes All Women” was his post about having his eyes opened that, yes the problem was really that prolific.  I had hoped that we would get to hang out and play together in the Warlords alpha, and finally get to know him more closely, but unfortunately he was taken from us before that happened.

Our Community

There have been so many times that I have tackled with whether or not we actually have a community here in the gaming blogosphere or instead just a series of island states with temporary alliances.  I’ve reversed my view significantly since that rather cynical post, but you cannot look at something like this without realizing that we really are a community in every sense of the word.  Yesterday Syp once again said something rather cogent,  that “Times like this, I wish there was a real world hangout for all us bloggers to get together and hug.”  And it is true… I wish I could give all of the people in this community that are hurting from this loss a big damned bear hug.  That is one thing that @Ardua and I have in common… we are huggers, and there are times when nothing else will quite do as much as a big heart felt hug.  So while I am at still at a loss of words and bewildered by just how sudden this happened…  my role in this is to be there for the people who did know River on a more personal level and are broken in side over his loss.

In a way Twitter and the blogosphere is his ephemeral thing… that was just expect to always be there even when we cannot be.  The show must always go on, and our absence does not somehow stop the proceedings.  As a result I find that we tend to take for granted that every member of this community will always be in exactly the same place as they will always be.  I feel like this is an opportunity to reach out and let the people we deeply care about in this community know it.  There are so many people that make every single day a better place for me.  It has been popular lately in the media to talk about how the internet is pushing society apart.  I submit to them that for introverts like myself, the internet opens up a new world full of people we would likely have never met otherwise, and as a result we are enriched by these experiences.  There are people in my life that I love dearly, and would do anything in my power to help… and will likely never actually meet face to face.  Just because distance and circumstances separate us… it does not make us any less of a community and in many cases a family.

River you will be missed.