As part of our Massively Uplifting column this past week, we covered an emerging story on the Warhammer Online Return of Reckoning rogue server, as a veteran player named Gary aka biploargary shared that he had terminal lung cancer and wished to say farewell to the Warhammer community he loved so much. That community sprang to action, with players swapping memories and making plans to memorialize him in-game.
Unfortunately, as we noted just a day later, Gary’s sister let the community know he had indeed passed. But now he’ll live in the game forever, as the player devs have added him as an NPC and created a permanent memorial for him.
“When we made the NPC, Gary was still fighting for his life,” ROR rep GamesBond told us. “We did not know he was going to pass away that soon, as his illness guarantees his death. Today, the team has added Gary’s nickname in the graveyard area of Praag. Praag is a region partially destroyed and has a graveyard interest point on the map. On Wednesday’s patch note announcement, we will mourn and honor the brave warrior who fought cancer in an effort to show support to anyone who’s fighting the same battle.”
In fact, last night, players swarmed the server for a truly massive memorial to Gary.
Tonight it's not about patch notes, Drops or even new content.
Tonight, we're posting one of the many reasons why a game is sometimes more than "just a game".
Here is a glimpse of the community mourning for Bipolargary – aka Gary.
– – –#ReturnOfReckoning #RoR #WarhammerOnline pic.twitter.com/EJHHCnPzDB
— Return of Reckoning (@WAR_RoR) September 9, 2020
And that’s just a small clip; Twitch streamer Gravord captured much more in his stream.
MMOs take a lot of crap for their toxicity, and player-run emulators don’t exactly have the best rep either. But moments like these should remind us all that our communities can and do rise above the muck and come together to celebrate each other. And you know what? I bet everybody from Mythic who ever worked on this game is beaming with pride right now too.