Robert Chesley

RIP – Erik Friborg May 4th 1980 – April 2nd 2011

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Most of you probably do not know who Erik is. But he has had one of the most profound influences on my life. He passed away this past Saturday and he’ll be missed by the community he gave his life to.

From AJ Richardson, his co-host and friend:

It is with great sadness that I report the death of Erik ‘Hamtastic’ Friborg last Saturday, 2nd April 2011. I’ve worked with him on the podcast since 2009, and I’ve known him through his exemplary work for the MTGO community for many years prior. He was one of the first to step up for the Volunteer Community Lead program on the official Wizards boards, giving hours of his, time, energy and patience to help out his fellow players. He had been one of the most prolific MTGO writers, with over 240 articles to his name here on PureMTGO. He started State of the Program back in 2007, and began Freed from the Real in 2009.

Dry dates and lists of contributions don’t do anything to tell you what he was like as a person. Erik was very kind, considerate and helpful in his dealings with others, and was as supportive a friend as anyone could hope for. He had an optimistic outlook and vision, coupled with the will to follow it through. This took him from his job at IBM to living the dream in opening up his own card shop, Accidentally Cool Games. He was a man ready, willing and able to seize the day, and proved it time and again. Whenever the podcast ran into technical difficulties, he’d battle through them, even to the extent of rerecording the whole show from scratch if it didn’t save properly. He worked damned hard, and what he did made the lives of others easier, more palatable, more fun. That’s the kind of man he was, a man I am more than proud to call my friend.

His passing rips a hole in our lives, and in the MTGO community itself. I have a very hard time thinking of anyone who has given as much of themselves, week in, week out, for us as a whole. This pales into nothingness next to the loss felt by his wife and son. On behalf of the site, I extend our heartfelt condolences to them. He leaves behind a great many friends, both in his local community and across the world as part of the online community. He has touched hundreds of lives, thousands, who will remember him with great warmth and with gratitude.

Rest in peace, Erik.

Erik, or better known by me as “Hamtastic”, was one of the good guys in the MTGO community. As said, by his partner above, he gave a lot to the MTGO community.

I got my start as a writer for Magic on I always tried to model myself after Erik’s style that I could always relate to and felt that he was the same kind of player that I was. I remember one of my first casual articles over there, he gave me some pointers that has since helped me out. He was also a very prominent member of the official Wizards forums. I spent a great deal of time talking about the kinds of Magic that wasn’t getting a lot of attention at the time (the “old” set formats mostly). His column, “State of the Program” was a weekly introspective to the issues that that we, the forum members and non-pro MTGO players, had with the MTGO client. It was a widely read article. Even when I wasn’t playing heavily I would always read his articles. He also did a weekly “market update” showing you which cards gained or lost value in a given week. This information has been a valuable asset to our community.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without his subtle effect on my life. I wouldn’t be writing about Magic, I wouldn’t be working my butt off to get this blog where I would like it to be, and I wouldn’t have such an intelligent perspective on the “work” that a lot of writers go through in a given week.

Our loss as an Magic community was greater than we can possibly see.

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