Yesterday, September 11th, armed men raided the United States consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi. Ostensibly, this was in protest to a film with anti-Islamic views, but violent behavior is violent behavior. Though reports seem to conflict each other, it has definitely been confirmed that one of the casualties was none other than Sean Smith — the man behind Vile Rat, a well-known EVE Online diplomat.
Smith was working as an information management officer in the consulate when it came under attack. This kind of thing apparently wasn’t unusual, according to Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco‘s account, as Smith had previously been stationed in dangerous areas in the past. This time, however, when the man disconnected from their chat due to gunfire, he didn’t come back.
Smith’s legacy as Vile Rat is currently being regaled throughout the Goonswarm — the legion of EVE Online players originally from the Something Awful forums. Essentially, Vile Rat was one of the foremost diplomats during the Goonswarm’s formation and even elected to the Council of Stellar Management, which is the group that directly interacts with the developers of EVE Online, CCP.
Gianturco probably sums up Smith’s influence on the game the best:
If you play this stupid game, you may not realize it, but you play in a galaxy created in large part by Vile Rat’s talent as a diplomat. No one focused as relentlessly on using diplomacy as a strategic tool as VR. Mercenary Coalition flipped sides in the Great War in large part because of Vile Rat’s influence, and if that hadn’t happened GSF probably would have never taken out BoB. Jabberlon5? VR made it. You may not even know what Jabberlon5 is, but it’s the smoke-filled jabber room where every nullsec personage of note hangs out and makes deals. Goonswarm has succeeded over the years in large part because of VR’s emphasis on diplomacy, to the point of creating an entire section with a staff of 10+ called Corps Diplomatique, something no other alliance has. He had the vision and the understanding to see three steps ahead of everyone else – in the game, on the CSM, and when giving real-world advice.
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