I’ve been rather beside myself since hearing about it, at first not believing it at all, then really not believing it, then just losing it. I don’t have a whole lot I can even put into words at this point, but my heart really hurts for his family, his friends, his tons of followers, and the guy himself, because I had no idea he was going through what he was. I can at least share some of my memories.
I first met Justin at E3 2013. I showed up at the hotel a bit earlier with some others and the room was already packed full with our stuff. It’d been a very long flight, I didn’t know anyone, and it was just typical travel stuff in a big city I’d never been before. Then Justin showed up and, having never met him, at first I’m like “oh great, where are we going to fit this guy? He’s all tall and stuff, and he’s an import gamer so he’s probably weird”. But as soon as he shook my hand, looked me in the eye and asked me how I was doing and how my flight was and apologized for being a nuisance, I completely forgot about any hesitation I had. I normally don’t warm up to people quickly. Took about 30 seconds.
The dude had charm and dang it, it was just obvious he was one of “those nice guys” that puts other nice guys to shame somewhat. The kind to give the shirt off their back, or loan you a couple bucks for a hot dog from a street vendor with no expectation of repayment. And being a content producer, the guy was solid gold as far as I’m concerned. Not only did he make awesome stuff, but he was insanely kind and humble to every single one of his fans that I ever saw him interact with, going well out of his way to hang out and chat even if he was busy. Not to say producers can be egotistical jerks, but… producers can be egotistical jerks. Justin was one of the furthest from that I’ve come across and even though I didn’t get to hang out with him but for a few days, it seriously hurt to hear he was gone.
So I just wanted to say that it was a pleasure to meet him and spend a few days hanging around LA with him in the group. Some of my very best memories of E3 involved his presence, like walking around Little Tokyo and going to an awesome Japanese arcade he knew of and playing some weird rhythm games he was strangely well-versed at. Then to a Korean BBQ restaurant, one of those where you order a ton of different meats and veggies, are given a grill in the middle of your table and just chow down til you burst. We shared a grill, and it eventually became a thing of “how much kobe beef and other meats can we eat?” He’d look over at me and say “dude, think you can eat more?” “bet you can’t put down another plate” “waiter, MORE KOBE, this stuff melts in your mouth!” And of course, the time we went to a local bar for an IndieGogo party, where the drinks and food were free. Best freaking guacamole we’d ever had, and some amazing drinks to go along with it. We just sat there for a good while, eating all their guac, taking all the free drinks, and just chatting about games, movies, future plans, and life. Sat there talking so long we lost track of the time and had to absolutely book it running back to the bus through downtown LA, haha.
“Man, you’re amazing, I just want you to know that. You just keep doing what you do because people adore you” he said to me sometime after, when talking about… heh, I”m not sure the subject matters, because it felt genuine when he said it. It didn’t come off as contrived or anything else but heartfelt. He just made times better, made me personally feel welcome, and really seemed to enjoy people (even total strangers) to a degree you don’t see much. Seriously, have a quick watch. Sigh. That was Justin to me.
You will be missed, man.