Hello, everyone! I've finally returned from my pseudo-vacation roadtrip across the country. It was a lot of fun. I got to meet Anne Stickney (again), see a dude freak out on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, go skydiving, check out the Art of Videogames exhibit at The Smithsonian, survived being stranded for 10 hours in the blazing California desert, and -- well, it was pretty damn action-packed.
But as much as I'd love to regale you with tales of my adventure, we have some sadness today. Beloved WoW Insider columnist Mat McCurley has gone to a better place. (The better place, in this case, being a totally rocking job with Riot, the folks who make League of Legends.) If you're the type who reads WoW Insider without checking out the bylines, it's hard to fathom how much of a loss this is. Mat is a huge part of what makes WoW Insider what it is.
I first met Mat as part of a somewhat impromptu one-day trip. Mike Sacco and I drove from Massachusetts down to New York city, meeting up with McCurley and (then writer) Rich Stoneybaby Maloy for a really awesome evening or drinking and WoW talk. By the next morning, the groundwork for one of the most amazing working friendships I've ever had was laid.
My favorite thing about Mat was his almost child-like enjoyment of WoW. He shows such an incredible enthusiasm for the game that it's infectious. If you met him at BlizzCon or saw him perform at PAX East, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It really sucks that we're losing Mat as a columnist. The only consolation: He's going to go on to do even more amazing things for Riot. And also he's going to come out to live in Los Angeles, right down the street from me. Awesome.
And making matters worse, we're also losing Kelly Aarons here at WoW Insider as well. I wish I knew Kelly as well as I knew Mat, but I never got a chance to drive up to Canada. From what I do know about her, though, she's awesome. Her drawings were awesome. Byron rules.
As a farewell, I figured I'd republish Mat's Birthday Wish one last time. It was an epic effort on my part -- a children's book I wrote to pay tribute to one of the coolest dudes out there in the WoW-verse. And while we're WRUPing, we'll all answer this week's bonus question: What's your favorite Mat McCurley/Kelly Aarons moment?