Death in gaming is meaningless. When we fall at the feet of a particularly challenging boss or a cunning camper, typically we hit the restart button and try again. However, there are no such opportunities to respawn in real life, and so the passing of a popular Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn player this week prompted the title’s community to gather in mourning for an unforgettable friend.

Reddit reports that Osa Talo was an extremely popular Elezen female character, and that a service was held for both the avatar – and, predominantly, the real-world person behind the protagonist – on the front steps of the Sanctum of the Twelve in the East Shroud. Apparently, the MMO’s moderators even changed the world’s in-game weather in order to acknowledge the event taking place. Touching, huh?

While this is an undoubtedly sad story, we reckon that it speaks to the value of community, and shows how gaming has evolved beyond the anti-social stigma that has long been attributed to the medium. The outpouring from various members who had enjoyed direct contact with the character is moving to say the least, with many recognising the warm and thoughtful nature of the person in control.

“Rest in peace Osa, you shall never be forgotten,” said McGuyver Zero on Reddit. “I owe you so much. But most of all, a huge thank you for being such a great person.”

[via reddit.com, psu.com]