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David Dreger A.K.A. Knuckles Dawson

R.I.P. David “Knuckles Dawson” Dreger

By John Teti • June 24, 2013

We don’t do many obituaries on The Gameological Society, but I would like to take a moment to recognize the death of David Dreger. Better known by his online sobriquet, Knuckles Dawson, he was a contributor to games websites including Rooster Teeth, and he specialized in coverage of in-game Achievements on the Xbox 360. Knuckles went missing on May 26; late last Friday, his sister, Danielle Dreger, announced on Facebook that his body had been found in a park near his home. He was 28 years old.

I only had one personal encounter with Knuckles, but it was enough to make me remember him fondly. Because of his reputation as an Achievement maven, I recruited him as my “coach” for a Eurogamer piece in which I attempted to score as many Achievement points as possible in a 24-hour span. That sleepless run ended up establishing a world record, which would not have happened without Knuckles’ help. That doesn’t really get at why I liked him so much, though.

In this field, you encounter your share of insular communities and standoffish internet-kingpin types. I’m not going to speculate as to why that is—this is not the time—it’s simply a fact of life for somebody who writes about video games. When I first reached out to Knuckles, the thought occurred in the back of my mind that the guy might see me as infringing on his turf. He was the Achievement guru, after all, and I was a goofy pretender.

But Knuckles was gracious and enthusiastic about my idea. He wasn’t concerned about turf or trade secrets. Rather, he was excited about the challenge and eager to make the marathon a success. Knuckles was a leader in an obsessive and competitive corner of the games world, and yet he was eager to welcome more people in. My experience with him reminded me that, in my journalistic pursuits, I should start with an assumption of friendship and improvise from there. The world—the games world and the world world—could use more people like Knuckles. Now it has one less.

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6 Responses to “R.I.P. David “Knuckles Dawson” Dreger”

  1. Uncle Roundy says:

    “We don’t do many obituaries on The Gameological Society

    This is one of those things I would never have thought about had it not been said (written?) aloud. Gaming is, comparatively speaking, a young medium, and we tend to think of the people who inhabit it as young, so it is all the more jarring (at least to me) when a person in the world of gaming dies, because despite the fact that people of all ages die all over the world every day, I still largely consider death the province of the old. Perhaps a day will come when obituaries of people in the gaming industry will be commonplace, but for now it is a relative rarity, and it will always shock me when it happens. Sure, you have your occasional Gunpei Yokoi or Takeo Miratsu, but even they were relatively young in the grand scheme of things (56 and 46, respectively).

    I remember when GameFAQs was affected by the death of Kao Megura, an early and highly influential contributor who essentially set the bar for how comprehensive a text FAQ/walkthrough should be and what it should look like. That is really the only analogue I have for this situation. He really made us think about the heights we could achieve in gaming and inspired us to do more, and better. So too, I think, will David Dreger.

    RIP, and many condolences to his family.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      My condolences as well.  Very sad for someone to pass away that young, especially someone so kind as Mr. Teti described.

      Blizzard has a habit of adding wandering NPCs to World of Warcraft named after the characters of well-known players who have passed away.  There are quite a few of them now.

  2. George_Liquor says:

    Condolences to his friends & family.


    damn, was he murdered?