Talking Points Memo has an interesting article on how the news broke of Sean Smith’s death in Benghazi, Libya. The foreign service officer was an avid EVE Online player who went by the name "Vile Rat" in-game. It was within that community that news of Smith's death first surfaced.
Alex Gianturco, a long-time friend and the leader of Smith’s guild in EVE Online, called him a "dedicated public servant who was extremely influential within his community." In an obituary posted on his guild site - themittani.com - Gianturco describes what he knew about Smith's work at the embassy in Libya. Here's a portion of the obituary:
We knew that Vile Rat was in Benghazi; he told us. He commented on how they use guns to celebrate weddings and how there was a constant susurrus of weaponry in the background. He was in situ to provide IT services for the consulate, which meant he was on the net all the time, hanging out with us on Jabber as usual and talking about internet spaceship games.
He goes on to his express his deep sadness and incredible sense of loss:
"I’m clearly in shock as I write this as everything is buzzing around my head funnily and I feel kind of 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. It seems kind of trivial to praise a husband, father, and overall badass for his skills in an internet spaceship game but that's how most of us know him, so there you go.
Shoot blues -> Tell Vile Rat.
RIP, my friend."
We offer our condolences to the friends, family, colleagues and guild mates of Sean Smith, a good man who served his country with honor. RIP.
Source: Talking Points Memo
Image via themittani.com.