For Precarious.

A friend of mine died today.

Her name was Saoirse Farley, but to me, she will always be Precarious. I met her by that name online, many years ago, when I was running the BioShock 2 ARG. From the beginning, when I only knew her as text on a message board, I could feel her fire – her burning desire to not just live life to the fullest but to devour the world and savor every single moment of it. She was passionate about what she did: in this case, it was the BioShock community. I actually truly believe she is the number one fan of the game in the entire world.

Precarious became a volunteer moderator on the 2K forums and over the following months, combined with her avid work on the ARG I masterminded, I got to know her very, very well. I was thrilled by her excitement and fascination with the project that was consuming my life. But my relationship to Pre was more than that of a company spokesperson and a superfan: I not only got to watch her grow as a person but form deep, lifelong friendships with other people in the BioShock community.

When people ask me what I love most about my job, I say that it’s interacting with the community. As a community spokesperson, you might think this is an obvious and boring answer – but you’ve never met the 2K forumites. You’ve never met Precarious. Hands down, without a doubt, the thing I am most proud of in my career is that I was able to create something that brought those people together and allowed their friendships to blossom and grow. It’s not every day that people meet and bond on a level where you would call someone a best friend. Friendship like that is a rare and truly precious gem of a thing. I get to do something with my life that can help such a friendship form. That is awe-inspiring to me. Precarious, and by extension the close-knit group of BioShock fans she befriended, are the reason I do what I do.

I first met Precarious in person at PAX Prime in Seattle. She was dressed as a Little Sister and she looked fantastic and creepy as hell. I remember her being so sweet to me at the first Splicers Unite, when I was sick as a dog and it was freezing cold and raining. I remember worrying about her during the last phase of the Something in the Sea ARG: she’d gone up to Harlem to pick up a clue, but was a day late for the event (her roommate gave her the clue late, but I digress). That day, it was also raining (how is it always raining with you, Pre?) and the neighborhood wasn’t exactly the best. But because that community was the goddamned best in the world, someone on the forums found out where she was and drove up into Harlem to help her out and bring her safely home. I remember the amazing lengths she went to in order to go to the grand finale of SITS: you see, she lived in NYC and was scheduled to fly to London for vacation, but the finale was being held a day or two before she was set to leave and the event was in San Francisco. Pre was crazy enough to fly out for that final event, all the way from NYC to SF, then back to NYC a day later and then onward to London. Mind you, she had NO IDEA what this grand finale event was. But that’s the kind of person she was: her life was a huge adventure, and she went wherever the rollercoaster took her.

I remember where I was when Pre told me she had brain cancer. But illness couldn’t slow her down. Even when she was too weak to walk, she was rocking out at PAX Prime in a wheelchair, having drinks with me and being the same sassy firecracker that I’d grown to adore. I admired her grit. I respected her willfulness. I loved that she looked at all the hardships and trials she faced and screamed back at them, very loudly, “FUCK YOU.”

In 2012, I had the pleasure of arranging the dinner where her boyfriend proposed to her. Gareth contacted me on Facebook and asked me to help make a memorable evening since Pre was such a huge BioShock fan. Working with a crew who regarded Pre as I do – friend first, superfan second – we arranged a candlelit dinner culminating in Sander Cohen bringing her a plasmid with a ring nestled in the bottle. We filmed the whole thing, too, and it’s still online here.

There’s a hollow place in my chest now where Precarious used to live. It’s difficult to explain how important she was to me – this crazy spitfire girl who loved BioShock so fiercely. She was a crackling, pulsing ball of energy and laughter. She was a defiant spirit who made the world a brighter and crazier place to be. Precarious was vibrant. Precarious was vivacious. Precarious was an unstoppable force and she was absolutely delightful.

Saoirse, I cannot even come close to writing down how much I will miss you. You lived life from start to finish on your terms. I wish to god you’d stayed with us longer and I hope you are happy and at peace. I will never be able to tell you how much you meant to me and how knowing you changed not only the course of my life, but my outlook on it. Thank you for everything you gave this world. I love you.

9 Comments on "For Precarious. "

Nov 08, 2013 at 7:41am
I'm trying not to shed tears because that's not what she would have wanted, but honestly, that was beautiful Liz. RIP Precarious
Nov 08, 2013 at 9:46am
Beautifully sad Liz, I will miss her.
Nov 08, 2013 at 2:40pm
I couldn't have said it any better. Saoirse was a great friend and a great person. Despite her illness she seemed like the kind of person who would always be here, because that much energy, that much passion, and that much life couldn't just go away.
Nov 08, 2013 at 5:55pm
It is incredibly sad and all so sudden. It's especially painful seeing the recent Facebook wall posts and then suddenly someone is just no longer there anymore. I really hope she is now in a better place.
Nov 08, 2013 at 6:48pm
I don't think I ever talked to her on the forums, but I always recognized her Avatar. I always saw that she was quite punctual and helpful as a moderator, and was always enthusiastic about anything related to BioShock, wether it was the game or a fan made project. I think for the most part, I'll still remember the BioShock wedding proposal, which her husband, Gareth, did such an amazing job coming up the idea for her. I wish I did met her, because she seemed like a terrific person and fan to talk to, but I will miss her.
Nov 08, 2013 at 8:35pm
I never met Saoirse Farley, but my daughter did. They were friends for some time. I hear tales of Saoirse exploits and the events in her life. I was always impressed. But I never met her. For the past 24 hours I have seen the impact this remarkable young woman has had on people's lives. Through my daughter. She has been affected by the loss Saoirse and impacted by the grief expressed by so many people. If for nothing else, I know that the world has lost a truly remarkable person.
Nov 08, 2013 at 10:08pm
This was well wrote Liz good job, and I feel the same as Chains4w, I remember SITS fondly and I can't remember such a fun and interesting time in my life even though I was a little late to the party, it was a fun time, and I got to meet some amazing people and form some friendships that have lasted since then and Precarious was one of them, I can't believe that she is gone, I didn't want to believe it yesterday when I saw it on Facebook, and it's just really sad, I know I didn't talk to her that much in this last year but around the first time when I met her and the years that followed afterwords she was always there to talk to if I needed to talk to her about something and she helped me through a tough time in my life as well, so for that I will always be forever grateful, and seeing from Facebook, she had an immense impact on everyone's life that she touched, and one thing that she did that cracks me up still today and I will always remember is when on the chatzy for our group off of the forums she found out that I didn't have the original Bioshock and that I had just rented it, she bought it for me and sent it to me which amazed me that she did that, I will miss her so much, Rest in Peace Precarious/Saoirse.
Ivy Maestas:
Nov 09, 2013 at 5:49am
I didn't know her, but I saw through her cousin Emilia , her wedding pictures , she was a young pretty lady , beautify dress . She looks so Happy. when i read this sad news I couldnt Believe it . She s in a better place . Prayer to her family and Many close friends. Rest in Peace. Descanse en Paz 🙏
Giina Forese:
Nov 13, 2013 at 6:02pm
Precarious ... fitting name, no? I am her mother. I went to that SF event with her; me and her younger sister. She introduced me to Bioshock world early on and I experienced that world through her eyes and passion. Witnessed her as she received memorabilia from so many people and gloated how she had the most! LOL! I have one of the masks (the cat) and will treasure it forever with all my memories. I loved reading this piece and will cherish the fact that she touched so many lives. Thank you!

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