As some (most) of you know, I’ve been on a MUD called AVATAR for seven years now. One of the things that really kept me playing it for so long was the sense of community that exists there. It’s like an extended family in many ways, and was made moreso by getting to know some of the players and other immortals in real life. (For instance, the owner of the MUD, Snikt, is both a friend and a business partner, and we would never have met without the MUD.)
One of our regular players died last night. Last week he had gone in for a routine tonsillectomy, and during the operation they knicked an artery. He was sent home afterwards, but ended up back in the hospital the following night, and slipped into a coma not long after. It continued to get worse, with a period during which he was brain dead for six minutes, causing irreversible brain damage even if he ever awoke from the coma. His parents signed a Do Not Resuscitate order yesterday, and he passed away at 1am last night. He was 19.
I knew him on the MUD though not in real life. I ran with him a few times, and we used to talk from time to time about the latest news about Xenogears and Xenosaga (FYI: his nickname, “Krelian” is taken from a character in Xenogears), a game series that we were both big fans of. He will be missed.
That said, I didn’t know him nearly as well as some of the other players did. Needless to say, it has hit the Avatar community pretty hard. Snikt is spearheading an effort to send flowers and cards to Krelian’s family.
Anyone who says online communities aren’t really communities is full of shit.