Mike Fahey, a long-time writer for Kotaku, the oldest and most popular video game publication, passed away on Friday. He was 49.
Eugene Abbott, Fahey's partner, confirmed his death on Friday. In 2018, Fahey suffered an aortic dissection, which is a severe dissection of the body's main artery, that paralyzed him from the chest down and forced him to use a wheelchair. In April, Fahey suffered another such tear, this time a viral infection.
Mike Fahey joined Kotaku in 2006 after making hilarious e-mails about a Pikachu plushie gone missing. According to Polygon, he had a Pikachu that people kept kidnapping. I believe the last time it was seen, it was strapped to the front of an 18-wheeler.
Brian Crecente, who was Kotaku's editor-in-chief from 2005 to 2011, recalled that Fahey was a contributor on a blog created prior to Crecente's arrival. Fahey was Crecente's first hire when he was named Kotaku's editor.
Crecente said the reason I hired him and why he continued to work there was because he was a naturally funny guy. For him, it was just an inherent ability. He loved making jokes.
When Crecente hired Fahey in November 2006, he spent the next two months in my house, sans roommates. At Kotaku, Fahey became well-known for his snacktaku reviews and for recognizing the lighter moments in video gaming culture.
Fahey found his voice as an everyman pop culture fan, with interests and enthusiasm spanning the Transformers, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, Madden NFL, and particularly role-playing games. In October 2009, he published a groundbreaking account of his own video game addiction while playing EverQuest, and how it broke apart a relationship with Abbott that he would soon heal.
Everyone would say, Ha ha, did you ever marry the guy who ignored you for video games? Abbott said on Monday. They seemed to understand that Fahey was nearing level 40, which they nonetheless hated. But there was never any part of me that was ever like, Does he care? Does he want the video game more? I was like, Bruh, hurry up.
Michael McDonald's one-man campaign for Stan Bush got The Touch, a Transformers: The Movie animated feature added to Guitar Hero 5.
In one of Fahey's most memorable, and most outspoken, posts at Kotaku, he was watching a video game in his office, looked over his shoulder, and saw a spider the size of a Volkswagen on the ceiling overhead. He smashed it with an Xbox One copy of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. The box is still attached to the ceiling.
Fahey encouraged comparisons to the cliche of the big, overgrown kid, not least because he was 6-foot-6. Abbott recalls that he would return from business visits to conventions and expos carrying a suitcase full of surprises for their children. Hed open up the suitcase and all the candy and toys would go out, they said.
Abbott said he brought a lot of ramune and Hi-Chew [candy] home from Momocon 2015 [in Atlanta], called the kids in and put them on the bed, then fell asleep, surrounded by candy.
Michael McWhertor, Polygon's senior news editor who was hired to Kotaku shortly after Fahey, had a similar memory from covering San Diego Comic-Con together. I came back to the hotel room, and there was Fahey, shivering on his bed, surrounded by all the toys he bought from the show floor, like a kid on Christmas.
Michael Fahey is survived by Abbott and their two sons, Seamus and Archer, who both 11 years old. A GoFundMe page has been launched to assist the family.