The gaming community rallies around EverQuest Next AI developer Dave Mark

A renowned game AI designer who worked on EverQuest Next and John Smedley’s Hero’s Song is the focal point of concern following an accident at this past week’s GDC.

Dave Mark was struck as a pedestrian by a car at the conference and has suffered brain bleeds, a pelvis fracture, a hip fracture, and possible brain damage. Mark’s friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of his travel, medical costs, and rehabilitation. It looks like the campaign has taken off, too, as it raised nearly $20,000 in its first day.

“Please help if you can,” tweeted Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster. “We are lucky to still have him with us, and recovery will be a long road.”

“Please help if you can. Dave is a wonderful guy with a beautiful family and he’s also one of the worlds leading experts on game AI. Send love and prayers his way,” said John Smedley.

Source: GoFundMe
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20 Comments on "The gaming community rallies around EverQuest Next AI developer Dave Mark"

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Alyn
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Alyn

Sad day for gaming and especially MMORPG’s. I wish strength and a speedy recovery, Mark!

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rafael12104

Horrible news! My thoughts and prayers go out to him.

But… how the hell does this happen? I mean, it was an accident, sure. But getting hit by car is so senseless.

Reader
syberghost

My lawyer got hit by a Mercedes crossing the street with the light in a crosswalk. He’s retired now.

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rafael12104

It’s just shocking to me. Marked crosswalks, lights, etc. etc. and it still happens…

Reader
Stropp

Most of these sort of things are senseless.

It’s sad but that’s the way life is. I have a friend who was out jogging a few years ago. He stepped off the curb and his leg snapped. It was just completely random and happened because of a slight oddity in the way he stepped off. Took months to get back on track.

In the case of Dave Mark, drivers unfortunately get distracted or lose concentration and drive through red lights or sometimes simply don’t see pedestrians. Human error.

I do hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery, and that this won’t be a burden on him or his family (beyond the obvious need to be in hospital.)

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Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Ugh that sucks.

But serious question – game developers make a pretty decent salary and do in fact work for companies. Why doesn’t he have his own health insurance for this type of event? Certainly the driver who hit him is being held responsible. Unless Mr. Mark is the one responsible or the perp doesn’t have insurance.

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Morgan Ramsay

A few things:

– Pedestrians have right of way in San Francisco almost everywhere.

– In San Francisco, drivers are always at fault in cases where the pedestrian suffered serious or fatal injuries.

– Game developers are paid significantly less on average than their peers in other markets.

– Dave doesn’t live in SF; he lives in the midwest. He was visiting for GDC. Given how often he travels, he’d joke that he lives in hotels.

– Dave works for a company; his own. As Raph said, he’s a consultant.

(I worked with Dave at Pixelmage Games.)

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Raph Koster

Dave works as a contractor and consultant.

The issue here is covering short term costs. He’s going to be in the ICU for weeks, and his family will need to be there with him, in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Just food and lodging will be hundreds of dollars a day. Yes, claims and the like can be made, but that process is slow.

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Armsbend

I hope he makes it with all of his facilities. San Fran is expensive to be sure.

Thanks for the explanation guys above and below me. My prayers are with the fellow and I hope he makes his funding goal.

Andrew Ross
Staff
Andrew Ross

Can’t speak for Mark in particular, but while they do get “pretty decent” salaries, that’s only when they’re employed. A lot of people are contracted (like Raph, who acted like a walking fact-checker when I saw him at GDC!). You may go a few months without pay, or that pay may go up or down depending on who you currently work for.

Also, SF drivers were maniacs.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

go fund me’s are the thing to do even in cases where there’s no money costs invovled at all with teh thing that is catching headlines.

there was that kid who’s would be social media personality motehr recorded him sobbing about being bullied which has no monetary considerations involved and people rushed to make and spend ona gofundme for that as if money would solve the issue of that kid being bullied at all in any shape form or function.

at least here a gofundme has a real help in that there’s a number of non insruance covering costs of being treated in different city or state from where one resides and as well the direct medical costs out of pocket in the US that go hand in hand with the best insurance available in teh US.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Yeah, just in this case, the cost for his family to travel there and stay there while he does through recovery enough to go home is going to be insane, forget the actual medical bills.

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Bryan Turner

Never thought of that I was just thinking of copays, everyone’s insurance is different, I remember one patient stressing out over a broken hip and the night prior to surgery he was already in the hole for 20k and that was with retired civil service benefits. I admit the US Healthcare System is a shit show but at least people get treated, the Insurance pays what it’s willing to pay and you can string it along by making token payments until they write off the account (the key is pay just enough to avoid going into collections.). I work at a Hospital and while I’m on the patient care side of things I hear things about the financial side, it’s a scary situation to be in when you’re worried about the bottom line ontop of losing money while you’re incapacitated, which is why I can not drill it home enough that you need Short Term Disability Insurance to bridge that gap, including supplemental.

xpsync
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xpsync

OMG terrible, terrible news. Hope all ends well, sending my best.

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Cindy M

What? No! How devastating :(

deekay_plus
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Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

wow that’s really rough. i hope he makes out ok in the end. got a friend or two there this year and am now going to be irrtionally worried about them until they let me know they are home and safe where the same thing could happen to them anyway. >>

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Bryan Turner

What country did this happen in, if it’s the US at least he’s being treated regardless of insurance coverage (that go fund me comes into play after the bill is received). How ever perhaps this happened in England and he had no Health Insurance I wonder if he’d even get treatment since I read an article recently where the NHS system booted an immigrant with out proper paper work after being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer despite having the British equivalent of a SSI Card. Either way something like what’s happening to him now if he doesn’t have insurance will bill him for a lot more than $20,000 dollars, so I hope he got run over in the US so that he’s actually receiving treatment.

deekay_plus
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Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

cancer treatment wouldn’t be what is considered an “emergency” care scenario.

normally when traveling abroad if you need emergency care they treat you then bill you (or even stop you from traveling home until you pay the bill sometimes), but they still treat you.

but if you’re in the country on vacation or illegally generally they aren’t going to treat you for something like cancer without insurance. i believe this is also true in the US.

in this case it was an emergency situation so main consideration would be insurance, wether if he’s american and has private insurance either from his employer or elsewhere or if not american and has travel insurance, and in the latter case if travel insurance would fully cover this scenario or not (unfortunately travel insurance is often not that great regardless of the country of origin).

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

GDC’s in San Francisco.

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Bryan Turner

He’s going to stabilized at least, possibly sent to a rehab if he has no insurance then. If he does have insurance though that 20k will make a difference but may not cover all the copays depending on how good his insurance is.