OTG Mourns the Loss of a Leader
The gaming community can be unfathomable to those not in it. The friendships we make with those we may never meet might sound odd to someone who has not sat in a VOIP, chatting laughing, playing games. But other gamers know the closeness we share. Our friendships are as real as those we know in real life. Sometimes even more so.
Today, I found out that I lost one of my best friends. You knew him as Alvok. I first met him as Alvok, but in the last few years came to also know Altoine Scarborough.
Al had a bad heart. Many in OTG know this. But it had gotten progressively worse over the last few years. Without a heart transplant, Al’s quality of life had seriously deteriorated.
But as bad as his physical heart was, his metaphorical heart was as big as the galaxies he played in games. He was funny, kind and one of the most brilliant people I’ve known.
So today, despite my own heart breaking, I want to share some things to celebrate the man we knew.
I wrote a post some time ago about my first meeting with Al and feel free to read that. The link is at the bottom of this post. Those who were in Mumble the day it happened will probably remember the incident.
Al loved to play “What If?” He would come into Mumble and say something like, “Okay, you have a choice of taking $5,000,000, but if you do, someone on the planet will die. Do you take the money?” He had more variations of those than I can even recall because in the last months it seemed to be one of his favorite ways to connect with his fellow guildies. Playing the games he loved wore him out too much toward the end, but he seemed to love asking these questions.
Also, as many who played with him will tell you, Al was the best player ever of (Insert Game Here). He told us so. Many times. Many, many times. And how other gamers would praise his name to their sons in the future when they spoke about Alvok, the greatest player to ever grace (whichever game it was).
I spent many hours chatting with Al on Mumble, discussing things on Facebook and even texting now and then. I’ll forever cherish a text from him at New Years where he sang in one of the iPhone X emojis.
I’m sure there are many people who have a favorite Alvok story. Please feel free to share those.
When we lose someone we care about, we often fall back on clichés. But certain things become clichés for a reason . . . usually because they have a fundamental truth.
Al loved Star Wars and Star Trek and we even discussed Game of Thrones. So I’m going to be unabashedly cliché and borrow some truths from some of his favorite movies.
From Magistos who quoted of Kirk from Star Trek: “Of my friend, I can only say this. Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.”
From Star Wars: “May the force be with you.”
From Game of Thrones: “His watch has ended.”
And to paraphrase Harry Potter: Altoine (Alvok) Scarborough has gone on his next “great adventure.” I hope it brings him the joy and peace he so truly deserves.