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RIP: Vile Rat

JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,171Member Uncommon


  • TridianTridian Plainfield, INPosts: 274Member
    Saw this earlier. Sad for this to happen.
  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member Uncommon

    Another article:



    Diplomat Killed in Libya Told Fellow Gamers: Hope I ‘Don’t Die Tonight’




    Sean Smith. Photo: via The Mittani


    On Tuesday, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service Information Management Officer assigned to the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, typed a message to the director of his online gaming guild: ”Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” The consulate was under siege, and within hours, a mob would attack, killing Smith along with three others, including the U.S. ambassador.

    In his professional and personal life, Smith was a husband and father of two, an Air Force veteran, and a 10-year veteran of the Foreign Service who had served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal and The Hague. But when gaming with EVE Online guild Goonswarm, he was a popular figure known as “Vile Rat,” and alternately as “Vilerat” while volunteering as a moderator at the internet community Something Awful. Smith’s death was confirmed on Wednesday morning by the State Department and reported widely in the news media. But the first people to report Smith’s death were his friends. Their reaction was shock and mourning.

    “My people, I have greivous [sic] news. Vile Rat has been confirmed to be KIA in Benghazi; his family has been informed and the news is likely to break out on the wire services soon,” wrote Goonswarm director Alex Gianturco in a message mirrored to Something Awful at 11:21 EST. “Needless to say, we are in shock, have no words, and have nothing but sympathy for his family and children. I have known Vile Rat since 2006, he was one of the oldest of old-guard goons and one of the best and most effective diplomats this game has ever seen.”

    According to his friends, Smith had emerged as a key leader for the community, and was known as a senior guild diplomat who helped engineer the destruction of Goonswarm’s chief rival, the Band of Brothers. He let his guildmates design his tattoo. On Wednesday, Gianturco posted an obituary for his friend of more than six years. “He was on jabber when it happened, that’s the most fucked up thing,” Gianturco wrote. “In Baghdad the same kind of thing happened – incoming sirens, he’d vanish, we’d freak out and he’d come back ok after a bit. This time he said ‘FUCK’ and ‘GUNFIRE’ and then disconnected and never returned.”

    Next, media reports began circulating that the consulate in Benghazi, and the U.S. embassy in Egypt, had come under attack. Gianturco, known in the EVE Online community as The Mittani, “freaked out.” Gianturco wrote that he was “in shock” and felt dead inside.

    “I’m not sure if this is how I’m supposed to react to my friend being killed by a mob in a post-revolutionary Libya, but it’s pretty awful and Sean was a great guy and he was a goddamned master at this game we all play, even though a lot of people may not realize how significant an influence he had,” wrote Gianturco. And that “if you play this stupid game, you may not realize it, but you play in a galaxy created in large part by Vile Rat’s talent as a diplomat.”

    At Something Awful, Smith was a long-time member — more recently a moderator — who posted about football, politics and working with the Foreign Service. Forumers are now leaving messages in Smith’s memory, and others are doing similar at the EVE Online forums. Gamers are now also re-naming virtual space stations after Smith. EVE Online, which takes place in a simulated galaxy, center around the digital stations as bases for trade, socializing and fighting. Smith’s username “was a name you could mention inany conversation about the pointy end of EVE, without needing to explain who he was,” posted developer CCP Greyscale.

    Forumer SpaceGirlArt wrote that Smith had “been part of my internet presence for a decade, right back to the old #ce [IRC] channel. I can honestly say that I never expected to feel this gutted over the death of someone that I never met in real life. This is unbelievable.”

    One forumer expressed concern that Smith’s death would be politicized by the media during an election year. But, “Through the bullshit media circus, we will know ‘That was Vilerat, and he was actually way awesome.’”

    Update 2:45 p.m., Sept. 12Something Awful admin elpintogrande writes, “After some conversations with Sean’s wife, we will be launching a fundraiser as soon as possible through YouCaring. It might take a few days.” In the meantime, the admin has posted an e-mail address tied to Smith’s PayPal account for those who want to donate now.

    3:30 p.m. Ned Coker, public relations agent for EVE Online developer CCP, emailed Eurogamer: “I can tell you that CCP and its employees are overwhelmingly saddened by the news of Sean Smith’s passing, as we are when we learn of any player who is tragically lost,” Coker wrote. He added that the Council of Stellar Management, EVE Online’s player-run government, is planning to post a tribute. Smith was once a member of the council.

  • WorstluckWorstluck the valley, CAPosts: 1,269Member
    Yes I am very saddened by this.  I was fortunate enough to have played with Vile Rat and he really seemed like a great guy.  My thoughts are with his family. 


  • ompgamingompgaming Hometown, IAPosts: 187Member Uncommon

    Its hard to loose a member of the gaming community this way.  Prayers to his family.

    RIP Sir.

    Above all else... never ever piss off the penguin.

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    It is nice that fellow gamers can pay tribute to perhaps for a few a online Nemisis. But for many truly a player's player someone who was well liked and respecte. He will be missed by many from goonswarm.


  • UNH0LYEV1LUNH0LYEV1L Summerville, SCPosts: 421Member Uncommon
    Holy shit...this is mad fucked up.  RIP good sir.
    ProbablyGettingNerfed - L100 - Witch - Path of Exile
  • kadepsysonkadepsyson Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,917Member Uncommon
    That had to be a scary way to go, nobody deserves that.  I feel bad for his family/children too.

    AsRock Z710 Extreme7+ motherboard
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    Basically my gaming rig is made of money
    El Psy Congroo

  • jpnolejpnole Tampa, FLPosts: 1,668Member Uncommon
    Just read the article on CNN. Every so often a tradegy will strike a gamer and make us all realize just how important our time outside the game is. Not to mention how insignificant our game fueled arguments on here really are. My condolences to his family, friends and EVE gamers who knew and played with him. Sounds like he was very dedicated in both RL and in game. 
  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member
    Originally posted by free2play

    100000 almost and climbing,  Anyone ever has anything negative to say about this community obviously has no idea.  

  • DragonantisDragonantis DublinPosts: 974Member Uncommon
    Very sad to here this, thouhts are with his family and friends, and his alliance brothers and sisters.
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