Soldier – Gamer Dies in Iraq

….another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

A gamer who served his country in the U.S. Army has lost his life in Iraq. The Associated Press reports that Spc. Randy W. Pickering, 31, died Sunday in Baghdad. Randy loved comic books and video games, his brother said:

He did his computer thing. He loved video games. Video games and comics were his life.

On his MySpace, Randy described himself as:

…a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.

Also on MySpace, he listed Mario and Luigi among his heroes.

Rest in peace, Randy…

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  1. 0
    sakkiryu says:

    randy and i where in basic togather he was one of the few pepole there i related to becuse of our love of games and of anime, i remember he drew a pic of my girlfriend after only seeing it once, he had an amazing talent for detail in his art. i wish i would have been able to stay intouch with him after basic. he was a very wonderful person, a great soilder and an amazing gamer. i am sure he is in a better place now.  rest in peace homie, Eco "Egales are red hot"    Ill miss you man

  2. 0

    I had met Randy in Texas for an anime convention. i remember seeing his sketchbook and wanting to bad to tell him what an amazing artist he was but my friend mentioned he doesnt like people telling him how great his art is. He was really funny and we played Resident Evil GameCube and him and i would recite the original dubbed lines. We both had a good time and for what short amount of time i knew him he was a good friend. Rest In Peace friend

  3. 0
    Kristal says:

    As Delta and Gyg said, I was an online art buddy of Randy for years and years. And he was amazingly positive even in the harshest of situations. Apart from a gamer, he was an incredible comic artist. His art was amazing and really inspired me to work harder as an artist. If you guys want to check his art out, I included it as my website link.

  4. 0
    Gygaxis says:

    Randy was a badass, he was a friend of mine and had been serving for several years now, just getting redeployed back to Iraq at the start of December just after his 31st birthday. He was an amazing artist and comic creator and took everything in life he could with good humor, satire, and jesting. It’s nice to see people giving condolences for someone that they only know through a mention of his name and a brief glimpse of his footprint online, behavior like that would have made him very happy.

  5. 0
    Paul says:

    My thoughts go to your family dude, hope your laughing at the silly games bickering where y’are now.

    Takes a bigger man than I to put it on the line for his country, nice one.

    P.S JT’s a twonk :)

  6. 0
    Greg says:

    I love how far-left idiots like Pandralisk devotes two sentences to a dead soldier and then uses his death as a way to slam Bush. Really makes you look like you care.

  7. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Samson Effect:

    The vast difference in writing style, lack of bragging about his name or occupation, short posts, absence of ad hominems when addressing people, ability to stay on topic, and (according to EZK) his IP address all say that he’s someone else. We criticise Jack for saying that all gamers are working together on a vast conspiracy and yet every now and again these comments are filled with people claiming that new person X is really JT because he holds a roughly similar opinion.

  8. 0
    Samson Effect says:

    @ Matthew

    No, the reason we think it’s JT is not because he apparently despises games, it’s because the way he conveys his message as vitriolically as he does, the bad linguistic form, and the fact that he’s trivializing the fact that the soldier was a gamer, saying that it diminished what he did, just really screams Jack Thompson. Identical MO, just about.

    Plus, he seems to be the only vehement anti-gamer that frequents the site. Anybody else probably wouldn’t bother.

  9. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Rest in peace.

    To everyone jumping on Panderlust and accusing him of being JT: What? Are you demonising Thompson so much that everyone who doesn’t like games must be him? That’s just sad.

    (I suspect the onslaught of backslashes is due to EZK’s moderation, bringing the text to and from a database without correctly converting it.)

  10. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ DarkTetsuya – They say it’s not Jack, but there are some similarities besides the posting topics… that plus the “\”s before apostraphies or quotation marks he uses makes me think it is JT using an anonymizer web service that doesn’t escape his text output.

  11. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Coming back now that I’ve woken up a little, I guess that was a bit harsh. I still feel that way, but it was worded rather strongly. Allow me to put up a disclaimer:

    I am not advocating violence towards Jack Thompson, “William Panderlust”, or anyone else. Gamepolitics and the ECA are not responsable for the contents of this post or my previous post.

  12. 0
    Samson Effect says:

    “@Beacon, exactly, any soldier that dies deserves recognition, but, just like American Football fans would especially mourn the loss of a Football Star to the War, we mourn the loss of a gamer. That is why I know Panderlust is purely looking for excuses to disrupt the site.”

    Case in point, Pat Tillman.

  13. 0
    Zack Turner says:

    @ Willy Panderlust

    Randy was not only a gamer, he was also a very good friend and a extremely talented artist. You insult his memory, and his legacy!

    Please be more considerate in general. Your morals are lacking.

  14. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Willy Panderlust (a.k.a. Jack Thompson)

    What kind of idiot are you? Seriously? Are you retarded or something?

    Here’s a little piece of reality – over half of the US population plays video games. That’s for ALL age groups, ALL ethnicities, everything.

    Calling this soldier a gamer isn’t an insult, it’s a tribute to his memory and the things he enjoyed.

    Even though I’m an atheist, sometimes I hope christianity is right – just so I’d have the satisfaction of knowing you’d burn in hell.

  15. 0
    Acebuckeye13 says:

    It dosen’t matter if Spc. Pickering was a gamer, a lawyer, or a priest. It dosen’t matter if this war is right or wrong. What does matter is that he, and countless others, have died defending those who are incapable of defending themselves, and there is no greater (and few equal) honor. Rest in Peace, Spc. Pickering.

  16. 0

    I salute Randy, and all of the military personnel which have died in this war. A good number of my friends and family have spent time in Iraq; a couple of my friends have died, it always is a tragedy. If it was not for my back being screwed up and me no longer being in the Army, I’d also probably have spent some time in Iraq.

  17. 0

    I believe “william panderlust” is trying to imply that calling a soldier a gamer is somehow an insult to the individual, and does so rather poorly at that.

    “Willy” Panderlust, I was a soldier, US Army, for 7 years, ended up with a messed up back that limits my mobility considerably, restricting me from a lot of the more “outside” activities people do, as there is only so far I can walk, or so long I can stand before my back starts to really kill me. One of the things I did before I was a soldier, all through my military career, and after it, has been gaming. I’ve always identified myself as a gamer. Much like how anyone may identify themselves by what they like to do (or what they do). There is no insult in calling a soldier a gamer.

    Your statement seems to be very reminiscent of another currently banned anti-gamer poster which has been a relatively prominent and annoying thorn in the side of anyone with half a brain. I’d strongly suggest, politely, that you possibly try not to persist in your attempts to flame people here.

  18. 0
    Paul ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait, is William Panderlust actually JT? Because if so he’s more pathetic than I thought. He says we’re all a bunch of game addicted druggies, but apparently he needs his fix of

  19. 0
    Paul ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @william panderlust
    Whoever you are, just stop. Besides, do you think this guy would enjoy knowing that you think being a gamer is bad? Honestly, just shut the fuck up. I’d come up with a more intelligent/mature response, but I’m too tired to care at the moment.

  20. 0
    Delta says:

    It’s very cool to see a GP salute to Randy, I did not know him personally but he was an old regular of some of the IRC groups I belonged to many years ago in association with Megatokyo and Anime. Many of his friends I know from LJ and IRC. An excellent writeup of Randy from one of his friends may be found at

    As for the troll, this is a perfect illustration of how regular people, from all walks of life, are involved in this war. Randy was, like many of us, a regular kid who played games and communicated on the Internet, and his getting a mention here on GP is very fitting for the kind of life he led. Patriotism is no longer the “manly man” persona as it once was, our soldiers today come from all walks of life and hold all interests. It is such a shame to see good people like Randy die, but there is no doubt he represented his country and at the very least helped affect many people’s lives.

  21. 0
    Colonel Happablap ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wanted to avoid this article because I knew it’d bring a tear to the eye. If there’s one thing that we gamers are, it’s a community of people who understand one another and realize that there are bigger things in this life than beating that next boss.

    @Conot –

    I was gonna say the same thing. My Halo 3 victories shall be in your name, Randy.

  22. 0
    JasonX43 says:

    I salute him for his valiant efforts, and I mourn for him, his family, and the fact that he’ll miss all the great games coming out next year. I think I’ll close with a quote from the original Transformers movie:

    “Til All Are One!”

    R.I.P. Randy

  23. 0
    DarkTetsuya ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hate to reply to the troll but he’s missing the obvious point:

    He died defending our country.

    what has panderlust done lately?

    Defending our country >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> * > Trolling internet sites.

  24. 0
    Icehawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Since I do not (cannot) know what lies beyond death all I can do is mourne your passing… and grieve for your family. I am sure they are proud of you.

    I hope that there is a heaven, and it is has a really big gamers room where you can continue to champion the cause of the innocent.


  25. 0
    FlyinM_X ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I really wish this war would end… It is making me sick watching the number of soldiers getting killed cilmbing. (nearing 5,000 if I recall)

    The problem is with games, you can always continue when you die, but in life, there are none.

    Well, R.I.P. and such man, I wish I was as brave as you.

  26. 0
    JustChris says:


    I think what Panderlust is trying to say is that “gamer” as a quality is trivial, like “tall” as a quality. But we’re not here to just pay our respects to him as a gamer, but all the other major accomplishments he did.

    At a forum I go to, one member recently died, and he was best known as a house DJ. People didn’t know much about his personal life, but he is remembered through one of his hobbies, DJing. It was only natural that we talked about his mixes, and that another DJ did a tribute mix in his name.

    So I see nothing wrong that we acknowledge him as a gamer in addition to being a soldier. For someone that we do not know personally, we remember that person only through the stuff we already know about.

  27. 0
    GryphonOsiris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
    – General George S. Patton

  28. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Beacon, exactly, any soldier that dies deserves recognition, but, just like American Football fans would especially mourn the loss of a Football Star to the War, we mourn the loss of a gamer. That is why I know Panderlust is purely looking for excuses to disrupt the site.

  29. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nearly 50% of the replies after that post deal with Panderlust in some way, whether that is Thompson or not, it is someone who is deliberately going out of their way to Troll and disrupt this site, not because they have something worthwhile to add, but because they want to.

  30. 0
    beacon80 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think what panderlust was trying to say is that we should only be acknowledging him as a soldier. That bringing up the fact that he’s a gamer is disrespectful not because he’s a gamer, but because that’s less important than the fact that he was a soldier.
    Not that I agree with him, mind you. I’d argue the opposite. To only acknowledge that Randy died in Iraq is dangerously close to just making him a statistic. For those of us who never knew him, I think knowing things about him, like he was a gamer, is important for us to properly pay our respects.

  31. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My condolences to his family.

    Can we get Thompson’s latest ‘incarnation’ IP banned please, he’s deliberately trying to disrupt the reply sections as an attack on the site, I think we’ve seen enough to know exactly what he is now.

  32. 0
    BlackIce, Dragunov Marksman says:

    I’d like to back Bayushisan in this. This is NOT a debate about the war, but an article where comments are used to commemerate as best we can.

  33. 0
    jkdjr25, formerly bayushisan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’d like to ask that everyone calm down.

    A man lost his life. He was one of us. Please, let us not lose sight of this. I ask, as a fellow gamer, that we ignore certain parties and their attempts at troll like behaiour. I also ask that we please not start a debate about the war. Randy was one of our own, he deserves better than that.

  34. 0
    Pandralisk says:

    Ugh, what terrible news, =(. Best wishes to his family.

    Hopefully we can elect a president next year who supports our troops and can get them out of that shithole within two years, =(. It’s disgusting that so many great people are dying to stimulate corporate demand and create a sphere of influence. Makes me sick.

  35. 0
    BlackIce, Dragunov Marksman says:

    @Austin Lewis

    Mate, you need a shot or two of the Russian Standard. Calm the fucking hell down.

    Spc. Randy W. Pickering, in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, you shall not be forgotten.

  36. 0
    Zen says:

    It’s stories like this that make me worry for my little brother who just joined the United States Marines. And to realize how much some people give for the rest of us.

    Spc. Randy W. Pickering, you will be missed by all and my thoughts go to your family and friends. Be at peace.

  37. 0
    Austin Lewis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @william panderlust (AKA JACK THOMPSON).


    Specialist Randy, may you rest in well-deserved peace, till our Lord comes again.

  38. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “…a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.”

    I’m tempted to say he’s a little too caught up in gaming and comics after reading that…but given that he had the guts to work in an hotzone like Iraq, I’m more inclined to think he really did walk the walk.

    Rest in peace, Randy

    @william panderlust

    I’m not sure how to read that line. Are you implying that you dislike the notion that we only seem to grieve for the fallen who’ve been identified as gamers?

  39. 0
    Simon Roberts ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait, are you saying it’s bad to be a tall guy? I’ll have you know that many great people over the years have been tall, from presidents to basketball players. Sounds to me like someone’s just jealous because they’re too short to join the army!

    Seriously, tho. Requiescat in pace, Randy.

  40. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ William Panderlust

    “You\’re saying \”soldier\” and \”gamer\” in the same breath? That\’s like referring to Abrahama Lincoln as \”president\” and \”tall guy.\” Please, you diminish this patriot\’s contributions to all of us.”

    First off… what?
    Secondly… Thompson, get a life please. Stop stalking this website like that mentally challenged vulture from that Bugs Bunny cartoon.
    Third, learn to TYPE.

  41. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @william panderlust

    Ju,just fuck off, now!!!!

    That man fought, he fought and died for your, OUR freedom, and ALL you can do is to put the man down for his fucking hobby!?!?! You know, I didn’t want to believe that you were Thompson circumventing the ban AGAIN, but now I’m positive, as only he has been so heartless.

  42. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @William Panderlust,
    Please, just leave. The man’s hobby does not take away from the service and sacrifice that he made. Oh and a large percentage of the military are gamers. If you think they are somehow less honorable for that, then you sir have no concept of reality. Goodbye.

  43. 0
    jkdjr25, formerly bayushisan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    May Randy rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

    I think this goes to show that we, as gamers, really do come from every walk of life and hold every profession. We’re doctors, lawyers, policemen, fire fighters, soldiers, and everything in between. We care about out countries of origin and we want to be happy, like anyone else.

    It takes a profound level of courage to become a soldier. To fight, kill and die in a foreign land for people you’ll never know; many of whom will hate you just because you entered the military. With the word “gamer” being used as a perjorative its especially profound that Randy entered into the life that he did.

    Instead of letting certain people bog us down in their own pedestrian pettiness, let’s come together as gamers and honor one of our own.

    I saulte you Randy. One gamer to another.

  44. 0
    Samson Effect says:

    @William panderlust:

    Please, don’t be an asshole. A man gave his life for your country; the fact that he’s a gamer is secondary to that. The least you could do is pay a little respect.

    Next thursday, I’ll be hoisting up a pint in honour of him very likely with a good friend of mine, who happens to both be a gamer and a member of the Canadian Forces. Rest in peace.

  45. 0
    william panderlust says:

    You\’re saying \”soldier\” and \”gamer\” in the same breath? That\’s like referring to Abrahama Lincoln as \”president\” and \”tall guy.\” Please, you diminish this patriot\’s contributions to all of us.

    EZK: I am not sure what you are saying exactly, but could you please cool it. This is a place for civil discussions and commentary. Please refrain from flaming and trolling.

  46. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    it’s very sad when people die in a pointless war, but there’s a good chance he won’t be getting peace for a while.

    I’ll probably be keeping tabs on the Westboro website to see if his name comes up on their list of protest locations.

  47. 0
    Rammsoldat says:


    also its a nice counterbalance to all the negative stories you hear about gamers.

    Such a shame that a good fella like that died policing such a crap hole. R.I.P Randy.

  48. 0
    Cheeselikesceareal says:

    While people dying is sad, for the most part, I don’t see how this is a politiccal story.

    GP: We journey a bit off the purely political track on occasion to delve into the cultural, business and legal aspects of gaming.

    As it says in the article, we’ve been honoring gamers who give their all when we learn of them. Hit the tag at the bottom of the article for similar stories.

  49. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Heh heh… Knight Rider FTW. :)

    He liked Buddha and Your MOM. I gotta say, he’s got taste. Although, mentioning that he wants to meet the female twin of himself from another universe is rather… creepy… in a good way. :)

    I’m sorry I never got to know him.


    NW2K Software

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