Prominent Emulator Developer Rachel Bryk Takes Her Own Life
Rachel Bryk, a prominent member of the Dolphin emulator community, has taken her own life.
While Bryk suffered from chronic pain as the result of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia as well as long-standing depression, she suffered at the hands of online harassment as well. While we will never completely know what caused her suicide, it is reasonable to assume that all factored into her final decision.
We are often allowed to believe that in the vast empty void of the Internet that our words are without consequence, that the people we touch and interact with are faceless strangers -- barely people at all. The case of Rachel Bryk is a testament to the inaccuracy of that both in the positive ways that she reached out to her community and the negative way that others reached out to her.
A friend of Bryk's took to Tumblr to say that while her online harassment might have ultimately contributed to her death, it was not the leading factor. Regardless, the treatment that Bryk received when reaching out was the worst the Internet has to offer.
Rachel will perhaps best be remembered by the community she encouraged and inspired, as shown in this commemoration in the Dolphin forums. Dolphin users, like Stevoisiak leave us with the clearest picture of a life cut short:
Rachel was more than just a great programmer. She was a great programmer who always managed to put a smile on my face. I don't think that there ever will be anyone else quite like her. Rest in peace.