I’m typically not someone who gets drawn up in public displays of emotion. I’m generally more of the “deal with it quietly while drinking” sort, but so far that hasn’t really worked out.
A lot has already been written and said about Ryan, so I’ll just get right to it and lay out the two thoughts I can’t escape from:
Thing 1: When I first started regularly interfacing with the press I was horrible at it (as I type this I can hear Ryan saying “Waassss horrible?”). I was stiff, nervous, and utterly dull. I’d get done with an interview, listen to it, and be completely displeased with how I represented myself and my company. But what option did I have? I couldn’t actually just be me, right? I’d say something really dumb and make people hate me or the company, and I couldn’t risk that. Only a crazy person would do such a thing.
Then one day I had a thought: “Hey, dummy, all that stuff you’re terrified of, well Ryan does that all the time and for the most part people love that dude.” After several mental attempts at derailing this logic, I decided to be sincere and not soften my personality in public. In essence I decided to be more like Ryan. I decided to be genuine in what I say and how I say it. I decided to let people get to know me. If nothing else I’m happier with how the interviews turn out now. Thanks, Ryan.
Thing 2: The military has a term for things that enhance the ability of their troops in the field, they call these things “force multipliers.” A force multiplier can be anything…a technology, a skill set, a weather condition…so long as it makes your fighting force more effective than your opponent. An example would be elevation in a ranged skirmish. The geographic features are a force multiplier for the elevated units.
Ryan, and indeed the whole Giant Bomb crew, are Friend Multipliers. I met so many awesome people through them, people I consider dear friends, that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Ryan and the Giant Bomb guys accepting me as a friend was a good enough credentials check for the rest of their crew to accept me with open arms. So now I’ve got a lot more awesome friends. Thanks, Ryan.
It’s hard to praise Ryan in a bubble. So much of what made Ryan, Ryan was the way he is woven into the fabric of what Giant Bomb is. It’s almost impossible to separate his contributions from those of Jeff, Brad, Patrick, Vinny, or Drew. Because of this a lot of the thanks for Thing 1 and Thing 2 go to those guys as well. I’m not thanking them now, though, because next time I see them those motherfuckers are getting the biggest hugs of their goddamned lives.