Yes, this was the guy that reviewed toys and snacks for a living. He was also the guy that could make you go “damn” in a blog about Fortnite or Animal Crossing. Mike Fahey wanted to tell you about the dozens of keyboards he owned, to show you that he’d pinpointed the specific symphony of sounds that he heard when he pressed his fingers down on each individual key, curious to see if you could hear it, too. I suspect this was the same drive that made him want to tell you what he dreamed about during a coma. It’s no accident that Mike was one of the first writers on the internet to really capture what made MMOs tick. All we have is each other, and Mike knew better than anyone that we often use video games to find connection. Even when he was being absurd and reviewing, say, a frozen dinner, he still wanted to find ways to make people feel less alone. With Fahey, even moments of crushing despair were laced with a hopeful laugh.
It’s hard to write this, for a variety of reasons that may be obvious, but one of them is the heartbreak of knowing just how badly Mike wanted to come back and keep sharing his joy with everyone at Kotaku after eight months of being away. Between trips to the hospital, Mike kept telling me that he was sure he would come back soon — that he needed to, because writing and playing games were one of the things that still brought him joy. But after years of fighting against health issues, some of which left him partially paralyzed in 2018, Mike Fahey has passed away at 49 years old, possibly due to organ failure according to his spouse. It’s bewildering to write this, because by the time I started writing for Kotaku on the side while still in college in 2012, Mike had already been here for around six years. That was a decade ago. To say Mike is the heart and soul of Kotaku is an understatement.
For many readers, Fahey is Kotaku. He built this thing that millions of people read every month, as a part of a network that forever redefined what it was like to surf and read the internet. We take the idea of “personalities” as a given on the internet now, but Mike Fahey provided a blueprint for being a human voice in a tech-driven space. The drive to put a person at the forefront of everything is still in many ways Kotaku’s north star. Fahey may be gone, but his spirit will forever live on in anything that we do. I said this to Kotaku staffers this weekend, but it bears repeating again: I want to think that somewhere, there’s still an Xbox game superglued to a ceiling that will never come down. You can contribute to the Fahey family’s fundraising efforts here, and scroll down further to read memories from colleagues current and former. We’ll miss you, Mike.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.