Robin Williams, an unparalleled comedian, actor and gamer, died August 11, 2014. Williams celebrated his 63rd birthday not 3 weeks prior, was awaiting the release of three movies in which he had starred, and only recently completed a stint in rehab for his struggles with dependency and–as is now evident–depression.
It is reported that the 63 year-old comedian took his own life, in a fashion not-at-all unlike his on-screen son in the movie World’s Greatest Dad (2009). He is survived by his wife and three children (Zelda, Cody and Zachary), as well as a gaming community that embraced Williams warmly.
In addition to naming his daughter Zelda, Williams was also vocal about his fandom for games new and old. Robin Williams has been quoted in interviews saying that he enjoys Call of Duty, Portal, and World of Warcraft, to name just a few titles. It was his support for the gaming community that prompted condolences like this one from developers at Blizzard:
.@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
Gamer Jacob Holgate of Abbot, Texas, is determined to memorialize Williams by making him a part of the digital world of WOW. Using the platform Change.org, a petition to add the comedian as a non-playable character to Warcraft began accumulating signatures shortly after Williams’ death was announced. At the time of this writing, 10,975 e-signatures have been collected online.
An employee from Blizzard has reportedly reacted to this outpouring of interest in seeing Williams commemorated online. Via Twitter, Technical Game Designer Chadd Nervigg confirmed that developers intend to honor Williams in some way. While the exact nature of this remembrance is as of yet undisclosed, petitioners have been requesting that Williams appear as an NPC, and that he recite some of his best-loved jokes and catchphrases when he is encountered in-game.
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) August 12, 2014
The eloquent and touching request Holgate made to petitioners and to Blizzard can be read here; an excerpt appears below:
Robin Williams was not only an excellent comedian but also a game enthusiast, he said that he enjoys Warcraft III very much in an interview a few years ago, and was even apart of the mmorpg World of Warcraft. It was reported that Robin used to play on the Mannoroth server, and was something of a troll in trade on good days or when anonymity allowed. Mr.. Williams said in interviews that he took his World of Warcraft characters very serious – in fact he was well known for being an extreme PC builder who prefered to build his own overclocked and super-cooled systems. He often joked about his WoW addiction but also about the reactions he’d get from other gamers when he admits he plays the game. Because of his presence within our community, we the players of World of Warcraft are asking Blizzard to kindly create an NPC within the game that memorializes the actor/comedian. Many have expressed a wish to this character perform some of Williams best jokes within the Worlds End Tavern, so that he may continue making us smile long after his passing.