Some say that gamers, and MMORPG players in particular, are detached and alienated from the real world: Yet, when the real world event we fear the most comes, MMORPG gamers seldom fail to show their compassion, community spirit and love.
Just a few hours ago, Reddit user Pattmyn made a post on the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn subreddit mentioning that his real life friend, whose character name is Codex Vahlda from the Gilgamesh server, was being bestowed a permanent “Immortal Siren” rank by his free company (Final Fantasy XIV‘s version of a guild) leader. Codex was on a hospital bed, waiting to pass from this world to the next due to a fatal kidney failure. He was 29 year old.
In the gallery below, posted by Imgur user aenemius, you can see what happened next: first one, than some and finally many players of the Gilgamesh server walked to the free company’s house and sat there, forming a moving vigil to say farewell to their departing friend. The livestream was even shown to Codex’ family in his hospital room, bringing some much needed support in a terrible moment.
And yet, it didn’t stop there: information started spreading like wildfire through social media, and similar vigils started forming in other servers.
Players from Balmung (the server from where Codex transfered to Gilgamesh), Excalibur, Hyperion, Cactuar, Fairy, Ultros, Leviathan, Exodus, and other gradually mobilized, sitting and standing in silence and prayer for hours, forming new vigils for Codex. It’s still going on as I write. As people go to bed, others come to replace them.
It’s hard to truly count how many gathered across servers to say farewell to Codex Vahlda, but it shows once more that the bond between fellow gamers exists. In front of one’s tragic departure from this world, countries of origin, religions, races, spoken languages, boundaries, in-game rivalries…All of that suddenly ceases to matter.
Codex wasn’t just a Final Fantasy XIV player. He was an all-round gamer that loved Zelda, Uncharted and many other games. He was one of us.
I don’t know Codex personally, yet I was standing there as well on Balmung with tears in my eyes. Those weren’t virtual, and I’m still crying as I write. I talked with many experienced the same in this occasion and other similar ones. The outpouring love expressed by the Final Fantasy XIV community tonight is something that warms and breaks the heart at the same time.
I don’t know what else to say, so i’ll let pictures and video talk, shared by many players from all around the world across social media and forums.
The pictures above are courtesy of Twitter users Ryuhkin Narinhohoho, Wind-up PLD, :}D Cirrisian, Kaes Caliburne, Tate, りさ@Leviathan, Zac Frost, Farah Maxwell, Sister Ali-O-Tome, Denmo, Ada@Leviathan, Lavren, Dario, Sam the Paladin, Teh Floof, Vicious 悪質な, Kristin Nicolette, Andrew Schertle, Ogre Woman, Yelta Sumasu, Imgur user Cezahn, and FFXIV forum users Recaldy and Vergil Renata.