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Author Topic: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer  (Read 3623 times)

wraith808

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US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer

I guess he honed his state department skills in EVE.

Quote
Sean Smith, the U.S. state department official killed along with the U.S. ambassador to Libya and two others last night, was a top player in the online game EVE.

During the attack Smith was reportedly speaking with fellow gamers, who were the first to identify him as among the dead.

Known online as Vile Rat, Smith played the game since 2006 and intermittently served on the sci-fi massively multiplayer online (MMO) game's player-elected Council.

superboyac

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 04:32:59 PM »
WTF?  He died while gaming?  This is bizarre.

Deozaan

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 05:12:06 PM »
He didn't die because he was gaming. He just was attacked while "reportedly speaking with fellow gamers."


wraith808

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 05:20:25 PM »
The article itself is an interesting read, and an interesting peek inside of the level of interaction and planning that goes on in MMOs and how a few people can have a great impact.

Renegade

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 05:54:54 PM »
Gaming... And leading a guild/alliance? How did he manage to do his job? MMOs like that are incredibly time intensive.
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tomos

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 05:58:30 PM »
Gaming... And leading a guild/alliance? How did he manage to do his job? MMOs like that are incredibly time intensive.

probably didnt have much time for family?
Tom

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 06:09:07 PM »
Gaming... And leading a guild/alliance? How did he manage to do his job? MMOs like that are incredibly time intensive.

probably didnt have much time for family?

Not from looking at what was said about him.  The thing is, I've seen it done.  I know someone that I work with that's incredibly devoted to his family, incredibly good at his job, and is incredibly involved in EVE.  A lot of it is knowing how to manage the time.  And I play MMOs quite a bit, and it doesn't get in the way of my family nor my job.  It's very possible.

tomos

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 06:27:10 PM »
probably didnt have much time for family?

Not from looking at what was said about him.  The thing is, I've seen it done.  I know someone that I work with that's incredibly devoted to his family, incredibly good at his job, and is incredibly involved in EVE.  A lot of it is knowing how to manage the time.  And I play MMOs quite a bit, and it doesn't get in the way of my family nor my job.  It's very possible.

I can imagine...

(I'm fairly inefficient with my time...)
Tom

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 06:38:15 PM »
Not from looking at what was said about him.  The thing is, I've seen it done.  I know someone that I work with that's incredibly devoted to his family, incredibly good at his job, and is incredibly involved in EVE.  A lot of it is knowing how to manage the time.  And I play MMOs quite a bit, and it doesn't get in the way of my family nor my job.  It's very possible.

Question: What's your secret? Cocaine or meth? :P ;D
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wraith808

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 08:08:43 PM »
No... I just don't sleep much  :P  But as I get older, there's eventually a crash and I sleep late.

Paul Keith

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 09:11:17 PM »
Do you ingest anything to keep yourself awake? What's your normal diet?

What I'm really curious about is how top are we talking about? Would have been if the article went into details on this especially for those of us who don't play Eve Online.

Especially as the comments generated some talk about economics and politics.

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 10:40:47 PM »
Do you ingest anything to keep yourself awake? What's your normal diet?

What I'm really curious about is how top are we talking about? Would have been if the article went into details on this especially for those of us who don't play Eve Online.

Especially as the comments generated some talk about economics and politics.

The article talks about how top he was, in pretty good detail- being the person that was the mover behind the scenes on a lot of big grabs and the person that everyone came to for diplomacy put him pretty much at the upper echelons of EVE.  As for me, I drink coffee and tea... not necessarily to stay awake... it's just that I like coffee and tea.  And I don't have a particular diet, though when I did keep track, I ate a lot less than the daily caloric intake.  I don't think any of that has any impact... I just don't need a lot of sleep, and never have.

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 12:30:04 AM »
All I saw from the article was the praise of his diplomatic skills. Not exactly details considering the potential to contrast real world diplomacy with game world diplomacy and contrasting the similarities and difference of the two.

So far as I can tell, there isn't even a log or video showing why the whole process was magnificent and deserves the top role in a MMO. Especially as it's linked to a post written by an EVE player to other EVE players with histories, legacies and details that EVE players are supposed to understand but newbies would be totally blind towards to even with a wiki entry on the most basic things that this person did.

I know a man just died and it is tragic but considering the once in the blue moon situation and the rare chance any specific info would ever get turned into a documentary, it's just sad especially as MMO communication is often considered volatile and composed of trolls and of course politics is almost the opposite. For a poor communicator like me, the behind the scenes detail would be on the level of a diplomat being able to adapt and flip the factions in an anarchy state while being able to dual communicate in a 180 environment where the wrong word could lead to getting fired or assassinated.

The potential value of simple log details alone are massive:

Consider this. We are talking about a top diplomat who not only has the name Vile Rat. Something that should make it hard to make friends on a name basis alone.

Then this person talked like this:

Quote
(11:48:19 PM) zastrow: when VR was in baghdad he'd always come into illum and be like
(11:48:23 PM) zastrow: FUCK MORTARS
(11:48:31 PM) zastrow: SIRENS AGAIN GOD DAMMIT
(11:48:39 PM) zastrow: and we'd laugh and he'd always come back a few minutes later
(11:48:49 PM) zastrow: :(

Which while common in MMO is a far cry from the political setting and yet a commentor also threw out the statement that he was a good real life communicator.

To add to this, the commentors can't even separate themselves from remembering a dead person to arguing about Islam. Eve being a hugely popular game would be impossible to just intentionally work on becoming a top communicator and yet this person was not only great at what he did but he was supposedly sought out.

Edit:

Plus talking and not sleeping versus having the reaction time/learning adaptation and then talking well while obviously being under rested and over worked in a stressful high mortality area would have been a massive boost in analyzing stress management and time management which could potentially go so much as help more people cope with suicidal tendencies in stressful environments let alone what this person was going through. What this guy did may not be as special for regular MMO players but to me, by simply leaving the details like that, you might as well have thrown away the equivalent stress victim that might have the objects needed to cure AIDs. (Albeit the social or the psychological variant of it.)

A simple work on making a more journalistic post than the online mate blog post they were linking to would have shed some of these lights even if the details were few and far between and rushed. Even the blog post was more impressive in shedding this phenomenon where this person supposedly revealed elements of his work to an online setting. This person also seem to be working on duties relating to keeping information secret.

Revealing details while keeping information secret: I don't know about anyone here but as a poor communicator, I have never seen a person like this before who was not only sharing this but again, remember we're talking about political position. Too easy to troll in and this guy was playing with sharing details.

I just can't stop thinking about it. Anyway this turned out longer than I had intended to but this whole thing is crazy. I don't know if I can live with myself not trying to emphasize the context of what I meant by not reading any details.

Edit#2:

This person sounds more impressive the more I read about him. Apparently he was part of a group that does trolling too:

reddit: http://www.reddit.co...omat_irl_state_dept/

Quote
Anyone else notice that "Against All Anomalies" temporarily named one of their outposts "Bring your rocket to work day".

Direct link: http://www.kugutsume...emorial-Thread/page3

Quote
"Obviously when we first heard this news, we were under the impression that this was another Goon Troll, obviously nobody can be that insensitive if they knew this was a real situation. I formally appologize for our SCDOT trolling, but want it understood that Goons have been known to lie and troll on many occasions so our first response was that we didnt belive it. Having read Mittani's website and the news reports confirming the information, our heart goes out to all of thier friends and family. I heard of but never had the pleasure of speaking to or meeting Vile Rat, having been a member of the US armed forces I respect his service and am saddend by his loss. -Hawkcrest"

Edit #3:

Here's a statement about his family life. (Same link as before just a few forum pages past)

Quote from: Dragon
Vile was the creator of Jabberlon which even in its bad moments of splerge was still the place where so many of the higher ups in eve could shoot the shit with each other laugh and troll each other, it was the first of its kind in eve. At the start a lot of people believed it was goons way of harvesting hostile Ip's but Vile stuck with it and proved to everyone that it was just a place to hang out and now today it is full of people from around eve to make a place where communication is easy. Throughout his long standing time in eve he has helped build so many bridges between so many different alliances and helped break down the massive walls that were built stopping communication between so many different entities in eve.

 Through out his busy work life and busy eve he always had time for the most important part of his life and that was family we all used to love hearing about new stuff he had made for his kids and all the things he would do with his family including the latest invention of a lego table for his kids to play lego on (I wish I had it as a kid). For all of you who didn't get to know Vile like the rest of us did you missed getting to know a true amazing pilot/diplomat and an even more amazing man.

 And remember everyone 'Death to all super caps' The most common thing I remember from Vile Along with shoot blues Tell Vile.

Edit #4: For those who also want to know "actual" details" of this person without having to be an Eve player and having to search or click on that reddit link

Melichar:

wow, he was the one who won the BoB war back then, damn, that was a masterpiece of art how BoB went down, done by a hero.

Mustaka:

I remember logging in that day and could not believe they pulled it off. One of the best moments of gaming history no doubt

Paralda:

Story time for people who don't play Eve?

cykosys:

http://www.eve-wiki....tle=Band_of_Brothers

http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/100

This gives a brief rundown that really fails to do justice to the scale of The Great War. EVERYBODY came out to fight BoB, who are generally acknowledged as heavily metagaming (crashing the node for systems being fought in, then killing thier enemies who would be stuck in login queue they had already waited through because they knew when the node would crash) , if not outright cheating (see t20 incident)

Band of Brothers had conquered the most territory in 0.0 by that point, and gave up 6 regions(at a time when most alliances had one or two) to collapse to a more defensible perimeter. The resulted in a month long siege led by goonswarm that failed. The Goon alliance couldn't cyno in any capital ships, and any fleets of smaller ships that got sent in would be killed by titans. (this siege was the precise reason that the doomsday devices in titans were changed, from massive AoE nukes useless against capital ships to the capability to instantly destroy one capital ship every ten minutes or so)

Later one director of Band of Brothers became disgruntled with the hypercompetitive atmosphere in the alliance, and betrayed and dismantled the alliance. Goonwarm was later disbanded and reformed because they forgot to pay the bills (no, seriously)

shhyguy:

Yeah, no, that didn't really help at all, too much eve jargon...

cykosys:

I've already condensed this heavily.

Alliance: A supergroup of guilds (guilds in EVE are called corporations)

Node: Every star system in eve is hosted on a server (called a node). Battles between alliances easily involve hundreds of players, so they tended to crash in those days when that happened.

0.0: Lawless space that player alliances fight over.

Region: A cluster of star systems, regions can be fortified by players to become defensible even when the alliance is vast outnumbered.

Cyno: the main way to move capital ships, these are installed onto smaller ships. They can be jammed by the defenses in regions, forcing attackers to destroy the jammers before they can engage with capital ships.

Titans: The largest and most expensive capital ships, these come with numerous logistical advantages and the Doomsday device, which at the time of the Great War, could instantly destroy all noncapital ships in a large radius, though leaving the Titan vulnerable for some time afterward.

sleeplessome:

If you want a good long read I have a Team Liquid post bookmarked that breaks it down pretty well for non players. Does a decent job of explaining any jargon when it's used.

By long read I mean it will take you a good 30 minutes to an hour. Considering how long the entire thing lasted that's pretty quick though.

http://www.teamliqui...e.php?topic_id=88121

myrmecophilous

I wrote my version of the story here. I was in goonswarm from about half way through the war until the end. After it I got bored and stopped playing eve:

http://www.reddit.co...l_state_dept/c676qvm

^The fact that news sites (yes I'm including the so called web 2.0 reporters) and us audience can't consider this as the minimum micro-detail needed to explain what a top MMO player is shows all our failings as human beings. Especially mainstream and non-mainstream news.

What's next? We're just going to accept who is marketed as the best sports player in the world without even understanding the actual sport? How about more controversial topics? Can you imagine if at least one media source (including non-MSM) journalists did to this person's real life what these posters did to tell the story of his virtual life?

I mean we complain about MSM media and we say the internet is revolutionizing things but you know the end of the world is coming when hobbyist news is more detailed than real life news ON THE SAME PERSON.

Edit #5: Finally! A log. MSM why couldn't you have copy pasted at least this much? Not dramatic enough for you?

Quote
(10:58:34 AM) Vile rat: wusti thanks for being a good guy.
 (10:58:39 AM) Vile rat: we took a chance on you
 (10:58:45 AM) Vile rat: never regretted it.
 (10:59:04 AM) Vile rat: we didn't have a home for you initially, but I'm happy you guys ended up working out
 (10:59:17 AM) Vile rat: we saw you getting fucked out east
 (10:59:32 AM) Vile rat: we decided to step in even though we weren't involved at all
 (10:59:41 AM) Vile rat: I regret nothing.
 (11:00:29 AM) wusti@goonfleet.com/Home: wtf?
 (11:00:36 AM) wusti@goonfleet.com/Home: that sounds like a good bye speech
 (11:00:40 AM) Vile rat: nope
 (11:00:48 AM) Vile rat: just a raising a beer "proud" moment.

Edit #6: Finally! A copy of his diplomacy style

Vile Rat practiced diplomacy here two years ago. Here's his one and only reddit post.

Quote
Greetings friends! I play Vile rat in game, Goon Diplomat. I'll keep this kinda short but I have been reading your concerns and I wish to put some of them to rest if at all possible.

First the Why. Why did Goonsw... er, SOLODRAKBANSOLODRAKBANSO[LODRA] approach Dreddit directors out of the blue and offer help and friendship? Anybody in their right mind would see huge flashing warning lights and alarming klaxons blaring every indication that you should be skeptical. To really understand you kinda have to see the game through our eyes. Goons (let's just go with that instead of the alliance name) are all, in theory, members of the Somethingawful.com forums. We are all from an outside place with a distinct culture and an almost xenophobic dislike of "pubbies" being public players not from our joint background. Are our posters really better than the public ones? Is our culture better? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it makes a convenient bad guy for our day to day workings. We've befriended other forums based groups such as Merch Industrial (Pennyarcade forums) and Ars Ex Discordia (ARS Technica forums) as they have a similar culture and for the most part all came into the game in a huge migration much like we did. For some reason it just works and we don't hate their company so much, except for this one Merchi guy and his dog but we'll get into that later.

So understanding all that fast forward to a few weeks ago when we took part in a hot drop of one of your lowsec mining ops. We wiped the whole thing out but in doing so we saw a little Goonfleet circa 2006 with a bunch of 5 day old newbies in Frigates jumping stupidly into lowsec and it made us take a closer look at you guys. Whenever we see cute newbies bumping into things in their rifters asking on intel channels how to jump through gates and what x'ing up means we are sincerely overcome with cute overload and that's what brings us to today.

Ok so you know why we want to help you guys and maybe you even believe me, but it doesn't answer what our intentions are here. Are we starting some program to harvest your best and brightest? Are we trying to absorb your culture into a faceless blob? Our answer is no. We wouldn't absorb your members even if that was what you wanted. We are Goons and you are from another forum, you have your identity we have ours. We are only interested in helping you guys find the fun part of eve right away instead of waiting a year mining veldspar in empire saving up for an opportunity. We were given a similar chance when we first started and having recognized an opportunity to pass it on a little bit, we are doing so. We do not want to absorb Dreddit, and in fact are stressing the importance of your group establishing it's own identity and in game culture. We are opening up our assets somewhat and will do what we can to answer your questions and give you chances to go blow things up with us ~if you want to~ but this has and never will be a condition for anything. If you want a friend, we are here for you. If you just need a leg up so you can do your own thing, we will be there for you helping if that is what you guys want. If you don't want anything from us at all, just a buddy to have around then we are there for you Dreddites (dredizens? Droods? somebody help me out here). You went with us into Fountain and owned the hell out of some scrubs with us and we really enjoyed having you guys there.

That's basically it!

Considering this was the only post in that account, again where are the usual talking heads? In fact, where are these supposed videogame analyzers who study how violence and videogames correlate? Oh is that only supposed to be for school shootings?!

Edit 7: Another example of his diplomacy style

Quote from: Kwitchy
A long time ago, I had attempted to open a conversation with Vile Rat, wanting to ask for advice concerning an issue. I fully expected Vile Rat to ignore the conversation, block me, or tell me I was a dumb ass. Because he was a "goon", but I always heard/read good things about the man.

 The issue I was having, we had just started the alliance Wildly Inappropriate.(dot), and were renting out space from Razor Alliance in Branch. However alot of the northern block didn't want to blue us. But no one really gave us any trouble but IRON Alliance. They had members coming up to our space and shooting us, then docking up, rinse and repeat. After continous talks with IRON's diplomats concerning the issue and basically getting the big "fuck you" from them, I figured I would ask Vile Rat what to do.

 After explaining to Vile what was going on, he gave me two words and then didn't say another word for over a half an hour. His reply? "Shoot them."

So we did, we took a small time fleet down to IRON's then home system and pretty much face raped their entire fleet. They looted the field and technically *won* the engagement, but we had a blast and tore their ships to shreds in their very own home system. After that I got a conversation from Wulfnor, Razors current head diplomat, asking what was going on, so I explained it to him, he laughed and said ok. Later on I spoke with Vile Rat again and told him what went down, he laughed about it and said "thats great, its IRON and I am sure they wont be around long anyhow." Sure enough, BoB did their MAX campaign, and guess who had to move out.

 RIP to you Sean "Vile Rat" Smith, King Diplomat.

I don't want to make it seem like I'm just copy pasting this things for my own amusement but this person is really something else.

I don't have the cash and I can't spot the official link but to those of you have an account at SomethingAwful, there's going to be a fundraiser planned for his family.

For more Libyan sentiment but less over reaction towards a general culture, this is the last page in the SA topic about vile rat: http://forums.someth...0&pagenumber=740

Some other little facts that are anecdotal but I have read:
-This person was an IT manager, not a diplomat (I didn't recheck if the original link had this)
-10 Libyans were killed defending the place so it's not all about nation vs. nation
-Supposedly the head was a Jew and not a Muslim
-Some say it was about the mockumentary, others say it's 9/11 timing.
-direct SA quote from MradyFist: we have Vilerat mentioning a suspicious guard taking photos of the Libyan consulate prior to a deadly (and probably planned) attack

also I don't know the context of this post but

Quote from: adambaron
So, as I understand it, as 10 Yemeni soldiers 'guarding' embassy tried to shake me down for $$, others colluded in embassy breach? #yemen
 Expand

 Seems like the Yemeni armed forces managed to secure front entrance of embassy well..seems they forgot abt other parts of compound #yemen
 Expand


 Back by embassy, situation has stabilized, still blocked off, still very tense. #yemen


 5 Yemeni acquaintances saved my rear end today, though they did make me crack up during multiple radio interviews...face of the real #yemen


 Random guy yells 'drat the Jews and the Christians' at no one in particular.this is not the #yemen I know.

 Safe, heading home to file as soon as possible, in te domine speravi non confundar in aeternum.


 Managed to get self out of embassy...now somehow at a wedding lunch? #yemen


 Always hard to do radio interviews in tense situation...harder when your in a w 5 Yemenis


 Guys I'm with say some demonstrators were able to enter embassy from Sheraton street. #yemen

 Situation very tense here, plume of smoke rising from by embassy, sound of warning shots ringing out #yemen


 In addition to securing embassy, seems someYemeni troops also have time to try to shake me down for cash. #yemen


 And now we have shots being fired in the air. #yemen


 I'm somehow inside the security perimeter at a parking lot run by friend of friend. Can see soldiers launching tear gas #yemen


 At embassy, was briefly detained by Yemeni soldiers, fine now. Situation around embassy tense. #yemen
 Adam Baron ‏@adammbaron

 At embassy. It's secured by Yemeni troops by wide perimeter. Reports appear exaggerated #yemen
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 08:01:17 AM by Paul Keith »

wraith808

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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2012, 07:15:58 AM »
Sorry... got my links backwards.  The place that I was talking about that went into a bit more detail on how he touched the areas of EVE was linked from that piece... the Mittani's 'eulogy'.  It doesn't go into excruciating detail... I don't think that's totally necessary.  I mean, some might be interested, but I think that would be a smaller audience.  But enough to let you know without going over your head, IMO.


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Re: US State Department Official Killed In Libya Was A Top Online Gamer
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2012, 08:09:42 AM »
No, it's a pretty huge audience but I think it's still underground right now but it's moving people like Hillary Clinton to mention him.

The blog link itself doesn't need that detail because it's pretty much a memorial but the EVE game was supposedly changed with millions commemorating him. Not since a City of Heroes event which I can't recall has there been this huge of a reception by the MMO community. At least from the outside looking in.

This also puts Libya on the mainstream or at least cult stream map radar politically. Not that it wasn't before but there are probably as much buzz about this as Saddam Hussein's capture. Just random estimate.

On top of this, this person is not only a popular poster but he's a mod for both EVE and SA. Two of the biggest communities out there.

There have also been a disgusting comic made of this person which I won't post but let's just say the idea of the joke was that he was too busy trying to log off chat so he got raped by the attackers before a knife was pressed inside one of his eyes.

Internationally this has also picked up. There's a danish article which I don't know how to read but is supposedly the same article but this time with more quotes from his friends.

This is the top Google search result I got and you can already read some hints of the same impact as reported by actual news sites:

http://www.tri-cityh...ith-at-benghazi.html