Sunday, April 13, 2008

Leif's Mass Effect Character

From the beginning, when we got our first Apple II in Japan when Leif was just in first grade, he loved computer games. One of our favorite family activities when we lived there and in Hawaii was to go to a video arcade and we all played those games, too.

As computer games became more sophisticated, he became more and more involved with them, enjoying everything from car racing games to first person shooters. In 2000, he found and became a part of that community. It was a big part of his life. He was a frequent poster on the Zaon forums, and the members of Zaon were online companions and friends.

He bought an Xbox just to be able to play Mass Effect and played it for hours and hours, days and days, different characters, different pathways to different results. He brought the Xbox to our house to show us the game on the big screen TV and we were suitably impressed.

He was impressed with everything about the game and talked with infectious enthusiasm about every aspect. He made several characters, playing both male and female parts. The picture above is his male character, and you can see that he modeled it closely upon himself.


  1. I 'met' Leif for the first time on the Zaon forums in 2001. At the time his screen name was 'GQPirate', which of course had a story to go with. I did get to meet him face to face for a short dinner when he visited Seattle in 2002 (I think).

    Since then I've enjoyed his participation on the Zaon fourms, his influence on my design work, and online play testing of the game on several occasions.

    I can't say I was all that close to Leif, but his presence is missed greatly and I was truly taken aback at the news of his death. Our Zaon community will not be the same with out him.

  2. I recently purchased an XBox to play among other titles, Mass Effect. I can't help to think of Leif during this. He tried to get me to play the game back when he was raving about it but I refused, afraid that it would take time away from my Zaon design work. Now, three years later Zaon, its community, and my friendship with Justin are seemingly gone without explanation or closure. Leif was such a strong member of that community and realize in hindsight how much he held its members together.