EVE Players Stage a Mental Health Vigil in Honor of Fallen Friends

Content warning: discussion of suicide.

EVE Online is a game known for combat, betrayal and strife, but every year on April 29, many of its players come together for a day to support each other and remember those they’ve lost. Hosted by the Brave Collective alliance, John Bellicose Day is a 24-hour vigil named in honor of a character played by John Bavlsik, an educator and EVE player who took his own life in 2014.

Members of Brave invite players into their home territory for a day of respectful combat, fireworks, and togetherness. Beacons of light are lit in honor of everyone players have lost.

In the wake of Bavlsik’s loss, the community rallied to form a grassroots mental health awareness organization called Broadcast 4 Reps, dedicated to helping players learn more about depression and suicide and ensuring no one is left to suffer alone. In the video above, members of Broadcast 4 Reps and Spam4Heals talk about the need for mental health and suicide awareness in the EVE community, and offer their support. Bavlsik’s mother also appears, opening up about his struggle with depression in the hopes of helping others.

Here’s a look at this year’s John Bellicose Day:

(via PC Games Network)