A U.S. diplomat who was among four Americans killed in Libya was mourned Wednesday by the Internet gaming community, of which he was a well-known member.
U.S. Air Force veteran Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer, was on a gaming forum just before his death and made a comment suggesting he thought he could die in the Benghazi assault.
Smith, who used the handle “Vile Rat,” was in an online conversation in which he wrote, “assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police” that guard the compound taking pictures.”
“He was on (messaging service) jabber when it happened, that’s the most f---d up thing,” said a gaming friend who uses the handle “The Mittani,” who added that Smith wrote “GUNFIRE” and then disconnected and never returned.
The friend said Smith was “my friend for over six years, both in real life and in Internet spaceships” and a key member of the online multiplayer platform Eve.
“If you play this stupid game, you may not realize it, but you play in a galaxy created in large part by Vile Rat's talent as a diplomat,” The Mittani wrote. “No one focused as relentlessly on using diplomacy as a strategic tool as VR.”
Other tributes were made on gaming forums.
“Godspeed Vilerat,” one member wrote on the gaming site Something Awful.
“You were serving your country in extending diplomatic relations and died because of a loving youtube video some people took exception to.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Smith, an air force veteran, spent 10 years as an information management officer in the State Department and was in Libya on a temporary assignment.