Letting go of lost loved ones is never easy. They linger in our hearts and minds. One Skyrim player has taken to loading up his deceased brother's Skyrim file, reliving the last moments he spent in the game. That inspired a modder to make his brother's character immortal.
The mod is titled Bear: In Memory of Taylor, and it adds a shrine to Taylor (that Taylor's character will occasionally visit) at his last in-game stop. It's a touching tribute born of a community's kindness, which culminated in a powerfully understated work from modder Sjogga.
It all started with a Reddit thread, in which Taylor's brother, who goes by the handle lastrogu3, claimed that Taylor died in a tragic drowning accident in 2013, leaving behind a wife and an extended family who cared deeply about him. To keep Taylor's memory alive, lastrogu3 said he frequently takes in his brother's final view of Skyrim's world. As he put it:
"The only time I ever play a game on a console anymore is to use his Xbox to sign into his account, boot up Skyrim, and just sit there looking at the last thing he saw in the game. I never move his character, save, or do anything since it wouldn't be his character anymore. He is frozen in time just like my young brother was."
It's the little things, especially, that speak volumes about a person, and lastrogu3 thinks the way his brother played Skyrim is a perfect example of that. He continued:
"Taylor always had his sidekick with him. He never moved on in the game without him, if anything ever happened to his follower(s) he would always load back from a save point to make sure they made it. This is kind of like how Taylor was in real life. He always made sure to include you in what he was doing with a 'No friend left behind' attitude towards life."
That in mind, Sjogga made sure to include Taylor's character's sidekick in the mod too. Both will visit the shrine from time-to-time when they're not chilling in Sovngarde, Skyrim's cold-as-steel Nordic warrior afterlife.
It really is an incredibly nice thing, an example of the way games can help us both connect with other people (even those we've lost) and do each other profound kindnesses, just because. It also ventures into the odd territory of an increasingly common conundrum: what happens when our virtual lives outlive us? Who inherits them? What do they become? In this case, Taylor's brother accepted that responsibility with love, respect, and reverence. But what about accounts, characters, and legacies in online games? Or online services? Will game makers be willing to pass them on to family members? Can they? Should they?
These are not easy questions to answer, but for now let's put them aside. A moment of silence for Taylor, who seems like he was a pretty awesome guy. May your adventures always be grand, wherever they take you.