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Giant Bomb co-founder Ryan Davis dies at 34

By Matt Gerardi • July 9, 2013

Ryan Davis, co-founder of the gaming website Giant Bomb, has died at the age of 34. He passed on July 3, only a few days after getting married. One of his Giant Bomb colleagues, Matt Rorie, broke the news with an obituary. The cause of death has not been released.

Davis was a longtime member of the games press, having started at Gamespot in the early ’00s. He departed from that site soon after his co-worker Jeff Gerstmann was fired, and the two founded Giant Bomb in 2008.

I never met Ryan, but I’ve always felt like I knew him. That’s what made his work, along with that of his fellow Bombers, so special. He embraced the goofiness of video games and shunned the stuffy, opinion-less attitude of the games coverage of old. He was at the head of a movement to make writing and talking about video games entertaining and personal—a far cry from the soulless wasteland of 100-point review scales and unnecessary previews.

I remember being 15 years old and hunkering down in my family’s living room every week to watch him and the rest of that old Gamespot crew on their innovative live shows. Ryan was never afraid to be silly on camera, but he also brought this dry, often acidic wit to everything he did. It was always followed up with his hearty laugh, though, the salve to balance his sick burns. As I watched him and his friends, I knew right away that I needed to be doing what he was doing.

Davis helped turn games coverage into entertainment. He injected it with a sense of humor and humanity. As many of his friends have pointed out on Twitter, the best way to remember Ryan would be to laugh alongside him, so I’d like to point you to some of my favorite videos featuring Mr. Davis. Rest in peace, sir.

Ryan as Ron Graphite, president of the pencil council:

Ryan and Jeff play Noby Noby Boy for the first time:

Ryan plays an atrocious Kinect sports game:

Ryan and Vinny Caravella visit Liverpool, deliver many Beatles puns:

A fan-animated clip from the Giant Bomb podcast in which the crew discusses their mention in The New Yorker:

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9 Responses to “Giant Bomb co-founder Ryan Davis dies at 34”

  1. UneedaBiscuit says:

    Thank you for this. The world is a little less funny today without Ryan in it.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      Indeed, thank you for taking the time, guys. I was at GameSpot as a mod/commentor in the early 2000s when Ryan first started and he always seemed like such a cool guy who made everyone feel like they were in on wahtever he was in on, and the comments and discussions from his friends and colleagues have confirmed that they all felt that way, too.

      A real shame.

  2. sans_frontieres says:

    This just fucking sucks. I loved the guy so much, despite never meeting him. He had the kind of friendly voice that was warm and invited everyone into the discussion. He was insightful, funny, and incredibly entertaining, and it just sucks so much that he’s gone. I can’t believe I am this affected by the death of someone I never knew, but dammit, he was just so personable and hilarious that I can’t help but feel a huge hole now that he’s gone. And I feel for his wife as well, especially to lose him less than a week after getting married. My thoughts and condolences to his family and friends. RIP, Ryan Davis.

  3. GaryX says:

    I really appreciate that you guys did this. As most other people on the internet, I didn’t know the guy, but his voice/writing has been a part of how I take in video games, podcasts, etc for a long while. As I mentioned on another thread, Giant Bomb is the ying to my Gameological yang: two simultaneous representations of the awesome things this medium can be. It’ll be a bummer not hearing Ryan every week from here on out.

    And good call on that Noby Noby Boy video. One of my favorites as well.

    • uselessyss says:

      Yeah, that’s how I feel about GB and GS too. They complement each other very well. One for the East Coast, one for the West.

      I think it’s telling that even now, I haven’t really processed the fact that he’s gone. I think it’s going to take the first new GB content without him (and who knows when that will be?) that’ll really drive it home.

      I’ll miss him about as much as I could miss a person I’ve never met in person.

      • GaryX says:

        It’ll probably be the first Bombcast that’ll really get me. They’ve done them without him before, but he’s such a damn anchor for it–and especially now with Patrick gone–it’s just gonna feel fundamentally different. I wonder how they’ll approach the first Bombcast back too.

        I feel the same way about missing him. That whole gang has been a continuous staple of the past few years.

  4. howdoyouhaveajob says:

    I’ve been listening to Davis rant about vidia games since the hotspot podcast. A couple of years ago I hit a rough patch in my life every week I would look forward to the bombcast because I knew for 3 hours a week I wouldn’t feel shitty. Shit man dead at 34 years old. It just seems so unfair.

  5. David Doel says:

    I’ve done a lot of writing and podcasting about gaming on/off for the last 10 years, and Ryan Davis is one of those people I looked up to. His ability to be funny and informative in the same breath is second to none. What an incredible talent, and from everything I’ve heard he was also a very kind and funny person in real life. Seriously tragic. Still weird to think I won’t be hearing him on the Giant Bombcast anymore.

  6. DrunkDalek says:

    I feel strangely broken up over this news, since I never met the guy, but he was constantly on podcasts and hilariously dumb streaming videos that I consume to stay sane on the road. He will be missed dearly.