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Gamers lend support to widow of heroic developer

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Brian and Erin Wood

Brian Wood spent his life thrilling millions of faceless gamers, but
his last moment was spent saving the lives of those he loved most.

Wood, a 33 year-old lead designer at popular game developer Relic
Entertainment, was on his way back to his Washington home when his wagon was struck by an oncoming Chevy Blazer
being driven by a 21 year-old woman believed to be driving under the
influence. With his pregnant wife Erin in the passenger seat, Wood
swerved his car to put himself directly in the path of the oncoming SUV
-- a decision that ultimately cost him his life, but protected his wife
and unborn child from harm. Two other passengers riding in the backseat
of the Blazer were also killed.

"All the policeman say that if we had hit the car head-on all of us would be dead," Erin Wood told The Province.
"At the very last second (Brian) braked really hard and turned right so
that he would be put in the path of the SUV and not me and the baby,
and that is the only thing that saved us both."

"He was always sacrificing himself for me and the baby," she added.

But while Wood's impossibly brave act left a permanent void in the
life of Erin Wood, the same people who Brian strived to please with his
work have returned the favor with a striking show of support for his
bereaved widow.

A memorial trust was set up within days of the accident. Countless
game developers, journalists and fans posted links on Twitter and
Facebook, leading to literally thousands of supportive comments,
messages and financial donations, prompting Wood to send an open letter to the gaming community to popular game blog Kotaku.

"Brian always told me about how close-knit and wonderful the video
game community was, but I had no idea until this tragedy just how
special a group it really is," she writes. "From all the articles and
comments, to the emails and donations, I am simply stunned and so
touched by the love, kindness, and generosity shown to me and my

At the time of his death, Brian Wood was working on Company of Heroes Online, a free-to-play version of Relic’s award-winning strategy game. It's currently in open beta-test.

To help Erin, please visit the Brian Wood Memorial Trust .

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