Vile Rat

The news this morning, unfortunately, wasn’t much different than any other day. There was violence in the middle east and a US Embassy was attacked. I really didn’t think much of it, and I suppose that’s telling of the times. We are continually reminded of wars, unrest, famine and destruction between Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia; or so it seems. After a time it fades into the background. The beings known as humans can adapt to amazing situations and forget the gravity of events as they become common place. As I sat at my desk with a light workload this morning, I started to surf the Internet; I then realised how close to home this attack really was.

We live in an interesting age, where many of us carry on in different realities. We have friends on Facebook that we wouldn’t recognize if we saw them on the streets and good friends we’ve never met in person. We conduct our business via email and carry on with our day to day lives with electronics carrying our emotions and intentions.

Now and then I play a game called EVE Online. EVE is remarkable for several reasons, but one of the main ones is that it all takes place in one universe. What that means is your actions, if they are large and sustained, shape the future of the game. It’s hard to put into words; you have to experience it to understand it.

The game runs on social interactions.

The attack on the embassy claimed the lives of several people, including a very influential EVE player. Sean “Vile Rat” Smith was killed while working in the IT department of the Embassy. And when I say influential, I mean the man created and toppled empires. I didn’t know him, I never had dealings with him. Truth be told I didn’t know his name until I read the news stories. I am aware of his actions however, every player in EVE was affected one way or another if they knew it or not. He touched a great many lives.

As I write this, there are tributes going up all over EVE. Space Stations are being renamed in his honor and players are trying to set up a fund for his kids. This man gave his free time to diplomacy in a game and gave his life for diplomacy in Benghazi. I don’t know what else to say… I’ll let the video say the rest.

Fly safe; Vile Rat.