#11 - RIP Vile Rat

The Incredible Virtual World of One of the Americans Killed in Benghazi

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 12:30 PM

This episode of TLDR contains some explicit language.

On September 11th, 2012, gunmen attacked two American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans. Sean Smith, one of the four killed in the attack, was an IT manager in the real world, but online, he was Vile Rat, a hugely influential diplomat in the video game Eve Online. Alex talks to Sean's friend Alex "The Mittani" Gianturco about who Sean was both in Eve and in the real world.

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Comments [17]


Vile Rat deserved it.

He was working for the military-industrial complex which had destroyed Libya, just as it destroyed many other countries.

Killed by the very people his bosses were paying. Poetic Justice.

Jul. 13 2014 02:01 PM
Jeb Walsh from Destin, FL

I just ran across this today, albeit its never too late to give your condolences.

I don't know VileRat, however I am greatly familiar with what its like to lose someone you've known, even in a fictional universe. I once served with Rampage of the Storm Guard Elite, Stain Alliance back in 2003 under the name Jerico Rivalte. I spoke with him and others frequently on TeamSpeak\Ventrillo (i can't remember which exactly) .... although I didn't know him "in-person" but he was quite enjoyable to fly with and converse with.

I sincerely give my condolences to his family, friends and all who have flown with him in Eve-Online. I give my deepest heart felt respect for standing up in defense of what he believed in.


Apr. 03 2014 06:05 PM

Was a bit surprised to hear this story on On The Media (in a bittersweet way). But I just want to mention something that this piece is missing: Vilerat was more than just an important member of goonswarm to somethingawful goons, he was a moderator of the Debate & Discussion subforum on the site, a forum mostly for serious discussion of politics and events. One of my favorite threads was started by Vilerat in 2009, "Got a crazy forwarded political email from your family? Post them here.", a place where goons could commiserate over the crazy emails and facebook conversations they would come across. This thread is still ongoing, and it was of the sad and perverse ironies of life that crazy right-wing conspiracy theories and image macros actually using his name and face have since appeared in the thread.

Vilerat was also active in giving advice to people seeking employment in the foreign service in Ask/Tell. RIP Vilerat, you will be missed.

Mar. 03 2014 07:10 AM

Only familiar with goons from Roundstable, but with that said, all I can say is one less goon is always a boon.

Feb. 27 2014 10:19 PM
Senjaya from Long Beach

Sean/Vile Rat took me under his wing when I left the corp I was in, and all alone flying aimlessly around space. He was an awesome soul all around. He was always checking on me to make sure I did not wander into the darkest depths of space to get attacked, and if I did, he would lead me back to safety. This is so sad. R.I.P. Vile Rat. The universe has lost a great man.

Jan. 21 2014 10:52 PM
Tomthe Smurf from jita 4 4

I never got to know vile rat, was always too low life to need diplomacy with goons. From what I hear tho he was a good man, and I still feel sorrow for your guys loss, that goes out to both his family and goonswarm. RIP Vile Rat

Jan. 21 2014 07:26 PM
Millillipede from US

RIP. Thanks for sharing.

Jan. 21 2014 09:23 AM
The Mumm from Jita 4-4

I may have been out of the game for a few years now, but I'm glad this article happened across my feed. I had no idea that a capsuleer was lost in those attacks -- awful.

Times like this make all of us capsuleers -- whether in long stasis or active -- regardless of alliance, allegiance, or nationality, realize that in the real world, death is not temporary. There is no clone waiting to awake, no hangar full of replacement parts, only the impression that one human left on others.

The loss of a diplomat -- be it real or quasi-fictional -- is a loss to us all. Rest in Peace, Vile Rat, with the knowledge that an entire universe mourns your passing into the great unknown.

Jan. 21 2014 09:23 AM

What about Smoske?

Jan. 21 2014 06:59 AM

RIP Vile Rat


Jan. 21 2014 03:36 AM

"Diplomacy has nothing to do with the entities you try to warm up to, rather the individuals you meet and form relationships with."

-Vile Rat

He always had the best words and advice. RIP

Jan. 21 2014 02:43 AM
Arkady Vachon from Somewhere in New Eden

Didnt know the man, and not a Goon, but much respect to Sean/Vile Rat, Rest In Peace, man.

Jan. 21 2014 02:25 AM
RIP Vile Rat

Shoot blues, tell Vile Rat.

Jan. 21 2014 12:18 AM

RIP Vile Rat - he was a great guy to play with, and he'll be missed.
Big thanks to OTM for doing the piece. This was a touching story to hear, and one that was drowned in all of the politicized noise of the Benghazi attacks.

Jan. 20 2014 09:21 PM

Never not shoot blues.

Jan. 20 2014 08:46 PM
Pike Thalnar

RIP Vile Rat

Jan. 18 2014 09:11 PM

RIP Vile Tat

Let's not forget the laughable Xhosa girl Nongqawuse who said Nelson Mandela was a petty criminal who deserved the death penalty.

Jan. 17 2014 12:30 AM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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