Last weekend, it became public knowledge that a prominent – probably the most prominent – player on my Lord of the Rings Online server had passed away. I didn’t know him personally, but I certainly appreciated his loveable antics in chat pretty much every time I played, to the point that even I noticed he was MIA a few weeks back and wondered what had happened. I hoped it was vacation. Now, thanks to the message passed along by his bereaved guildies, we all know Gonzo won’t be logging back in.
When the news came out, the server chat was absolutely heartbroken, sharing stories of all the kind things the player had done behind the scenes, in addition to keeping world chat lively. “He did his part to make Landy a better place, and it’s our job to keep it up now,” one player wrote. “His absence will be felt for ages,” another opined. “The best memorial would be to help others in his name,” still another said, suggesting that those left behind should “pay it forward” in his name as tribute.
Gonzo’s guildies are hosting dungeon runs for his favorite instance and walking from Hobbiton to Celondim in memorial – the closest thing LOTRO can offer to a replication of Bilbo’s and Frodo’s last journey before sailing on from the Grey Havens to the Undying Lands. It’s touching – and a reminder that even the smallest person can touch many lives through MMORPGs.
How do you want to be remembered in MMOs when you’re gone?