On the 11th of August 2014, the world mourned the loss of a genius. Robin Williams was confirmed dead, deemed to be suicide. The gaming world is no different, as the true impact of Robin Williams’ life hits home. There are no words that could do justice to the reaction of his passing, but it is truly outstanding. Williams was a known sufferer of depression, and his tragic death indicates depression as the cause of suicide.
It is fair to say Robin Williams enjoyed video games as much as the video gaming community loves him, and the World of Warcraft community’s attempts to get him immortalized in the game prove that. Williams was an avid player of the MMORPG and, after a community petition, will be honoured in the game, memorialized by an NPC.
.@robinwilliams Thank you. You gave us so much joy in our lives, and we hope you enjoyed your time in our world. We’ll see you in-game.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) August 13, 2014
His love of games stretched far beyond his passion for World of Warcraft. In interviews he often displayed his love for a number of first person shooters; as well as playing iterations of Call of Duty, he admitted to trash-talking teenagers on Counter Strike in late night gaming sessions.
Away from online gaming, he was not one to shy away from other genres. In a special event for an issue of Wired magazine, he memorably got on stage to play, and subsequently break, an early version of the species creator in Spore.
As his daughter’s name suggests, he was also a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda. His love for the Zelda series was showcased in a number of advertisements for the games, in which he appeared alongside his daughter. On top of the World of Warcraft NPC, there is even a petition to honour him in a Zelda game, which currently has over 90,000 signatures.
In a way, the only major blip in a long list achievements and credits is that Robin Williams’ voice never made it into a gaming world, but he has departed with a large selection of brilliance to be remembered by nonetheless. Every person you ask will have a different favourite memory of Robin Williams, whether it be his Oscar winning performance in Good Will Hunting, his memorable portrayal of the Genie in Aladdin or, my personal pick, a cameo appearance on improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Writing a tribute laced with video game references may have seemed trivial to begin with but, if nothing else, it proves that Robin Williams really did touch the lives of millions of people. Millions of people that will be in no rush to forget him. Feel free to talk about your favourite Robin Williams moments in the comments as we hear at VGU pay tribute to a uniquely talented human being.
O Captain! My Captain!