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Personally, I find it interesting and relevant here for two reasons:

1. It shows how mainstream computer games have become. There's still a stereotype that gaming is not for serious people, but here we have an actual honest-to-god diplomat working overseas who was also a hardcore MMORPG player.

2. One can actually be a big deal as a diplomat in an MMORPG. I had no idea that EVE could get that deep. I don't know if his real-world diplomacy informed his EVE playing, or the reverse, or if it was just a matter of being interested in that activity, but I find the whole concept of a real-world diplomat who plays a virtual spaceship diplomat in his spare time to be fascinating.

I don't mean to deflate your fascination, but he was actually an IT contractor/support worker for the DoS. I don't think he actually handled diplomacy, even low-level work.

With EVE, it's often the case that the leaders perform much higher-level tasks than they do in their everyday lives. I guess when people are given a chance in a new environment with different rules, new leaders and people of talent emerge. Maybe Vile Rat could have been a mover and shaker in the business or tech world if he had moved in the right directions.

A sad loss to his family, friends, country, and EVE.

"I don't think he actually handled diplomacy, even low-level work."

Diplomacy isn't like steel working where 'regular' people can't do it without a lot of equipment. There are really good diplomats in all sorts of places, from the president of the PTA to the stay at home parent with more than 2 kids. The guy's ability to see the problems and a path to solutions was legendary in the Eve community, so he wasn't negotiating who really owns what island in the south China sea, he was an excellent diplomat.

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