I knew Randy Sluganski by reputation long before I knew him personally. I was a reviewer at another website in 1999. At this point Randy had already developed a vivid public profile as this wild man who was making lots of noise at a site called http://dev.justadventure.com.Of course I was familiar with the site, even then.
After a bit, Randy decided that I was really supposed to be writing for HIS website, and began bugging me about it. It took a year for me to say yes, but I never regretted it.
One of the qualities I admire most in other people is enthusiasm. I respond to people who REALLY like and REALLY dislike things. I’m the same way.
And as everyone who’s frequented JustAdventure for any length of time knows, Randy’s spectacular, unrelenting, ferocious enthusiasm for the Adventure Game Genre lit up the entire gaming world.
Randy tirelessly promoted the genre, reviewing games, crafting strategy guides, writing opinion articles and doing all manner of other activities to get the word out about games. He also cajoled, worked with, bullied, mentored, poked, bothered, persuaded, charmed, and any manner of other verbs to help connect publishers with gamers, to help foreign games get localized, to help game developers realize their dreams, and any number of other activities which boosted the genre. He connected people; he motivated people; he inspired people.
It is simply impossible to imagine where the adventure game genre would be without his presence.
I’ll miss prowling the vast halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center at E3 with Randy. I’ll miss discussing games, movies, and books with him. Hell, I’ll even miss fighting with him.
My favorite Randy anecdote involves an incident when he wasn’t even present. I was attempting to check into E3 and it turned out that my credential was completely borked, for some reason. I wasn’t going to get into the show. I mentioned Randy’s name. One of the registration supervisors overheard and walked over. “He’s here for Randy? Let him in,” he said flatly.
Randy’s professional legacy leaves an indelible mark upon the industry. He leaves behind a loving family. He also leaves a large, rowdy, Randy-shaped hole in my heart. Maybe in yours, too. He is not replaceable.