On 31 July 2012 Tony Sly, frontman for the punk band No Use For a Name, passed away in his sleep. He was 41 years old. Death is an inevitable part of life and as humans we are cursed with knowing that some day we are going to cease being. It sucks.
The death of Tony Sly was a tragic loss for I’m sure not only his family, but also those people who listened to his music. As an avid music fan, particularly punk rock as a genre, I was of course devastated. No Use were there with me as I grew up. For everything that happened in my life there was a No Use song to match. The band brought me lifelong friendships and some of the best memories I have through their music, their words, and the ridiculous ability to connect with their fans. As a result I have a very emotional tie to the music of the band, and in particular, the words of the brilliant wordsmith that was Tony Sly. For a man I never knew it is strange how much he touched my life in so many ways.
I spend as much time with video games these days as I do listening to music. I have written in the past about how video games have in some ways defined significant times and places in my life. But video games as a medium don’t affect me in the same way that a good piece of music does. They are there when things happen, and I remember them, but I seldom connect with them in the same way I do other mediums. That’s not to say that there is not a significant level of craftsmanship involved in making video games, to the contrary, they are a legitimate art-form in many ways. There is never a personal attachment though, I never look at a video game and see myself, a situation I’ve been in or someone I know. And for that reason, while I have a tremendous amount of respect (and at times worship) for the developers of the games I love, I don’t feel like I know them as people. Their impact, at least some of the more visible and notable personalities, has been huge on the industry. The question is how have they directly affected YOUR life? Obviously the death of any of these people would be a sad affair, but would it bring the same kind of sadness that the death of your favourite musician would?