Our team is still in shock over last night’s news that legendary MMO dev Brad McQuaid has passed away, and I can only imagine it’s a million times more devastating for those who were closest to him. As I sat here last night watching respect and love pour in for him and his family on Twitter and Reddit and even our comments, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was log into an MMO. My brain wants to run and hide from the sadness, not embrace it inside a gameworld. And let’s be honest, even if you didn’t personally jibe with Brad McQuaid’s “vision,” there are very few places in the MMORPG genre you can go and not see remnants of that vision etched into the walls. That’s just how fundamental EverQuest is to what we do and play here.
But that’s just me. Other people take these tragedies and turn to MMORPGs to help them cope. We’ve seen it time and again, when someone’s sick or someone passes away, be it a developer or player or journalist or even a famous actor attached to a franchise. We see gamers holding vigils and petitioning for in-game memorials and studios more than willing to do their part to support the community and families in-game and out. Really, just the link-dump right here with some of the times gamers and studios have joined together to cope should be a comfort.
I suppose if I were going to go mourn in an MMO against my nature, I’d go back to the beginning, back to Ultima. I’d set out for a shrine by myself, maybe Sacrifice (it’s pretty and nobody ever goes there), and then turn off chat and just think.
Where do you go to mourn in MMORPGs?