Thursday, August 13, 2020

Goodbye, Brian

Along with most bloggers in this part of the 'sphere, yesterday I learned of the sudden, extremely unexpected death of Brian "Psychochild" Green. The first I knew of it was from Tipa at Chasing Dings, who wrote "Brian was an amazing game developer who helped define MMOs when nobody was quite sure what MMOs were... He was also extremely active in the blogging community..."

That's about as much as I knew of Brian. His blog, simply titled Psychochild's Blog, has been in my blog roll for years although the last time he posted there was at the end of last Blaugust in 2019. He'd posted every day during the event but finished with a lot of questions about the process and whether it was worth carrying on, asking his readers "Is it time to retire?"

From blogging is what he meant. He was a long, long way from retirement in any other sense.

In fact, he was, as I discovered yesterday, only forty-six. I'd always thought he must be older. He'd been the driving force behind one of the first 3D MMORPGs, Meridian Online, which predated EverQuest, so I'd always figured he'd be well into his fifties by now, like everyone else who was breaking ground back then.

Brian was also one of the key players in the development of the ill-fated Storybricks, the AI system Sony Online Entertainment grabbed to use in the ill-fated EQNext. He wrote at length and with great gusto about that ambitious and fascinating project, as he did about so many aspects of the hobby that was both his job and his joy.

In answer to his question about whether he should continue blogging, I replied "I’d say the same as I say to everyone – you should blog because you enjoy it." It seems he wasn't enjoying it all that much. He never posted again and mine turned out to be the last comment on the last blog post he ever wrote. If I'd have know what was coming maybe I'd have been a bit more encouraging, but as always I believed there was plenty of time and he'd get back to blogging when the mood took him.

I only knew Brian, as I "only" know so many people, from interactions like that, in the comment threads on his blog and others.There are those in the blogosphere who knew him much better than that.

The lights flickered briefly back on at Kill Ten Rats as Epic posted to say goodbye. Wilhelm at TAGN, who'd met Brian several times, posted a lovely remembrance, with photographs. Aywren mentions her time with Brian as part of the same Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV, the game he was playing right up until his death.

I don't have much to add other than to thank Brian, belatedly, for his warmth and enthusiasm and patience. He'll be missed far more by those who knew and loved him in real life, of course, as well as those who knew him, virtually, in the guilds and games he played. Still, his absence here in the blogosphere will be felt for a long, long time to come.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that his absence will be noted. He hadn't posted for a while but I always figured he would come back. Sad news and far too young for this.


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