Five days in front of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, I wanted to be writing blog posts about all the exciting things in store for this year’s event. Instead, I am still struggling to process the shocking and completely unexpected news from Sunday afternoon. Our friend Matthew Crump, who was part of the SXSW Gaming Team, has passed away from a heart attack.
Matthew joined SXSW in the fall of 2012. With almost two decades of experience working in the robust Austin gaming scene, he was the right fit to help SXSW Gaming continue to grow. During his 18 months of service, this growth has only increased in velocity. The 2014 edition of the SXSW Gaming Expo will be our biggest — and best — one yet. Moreover, Matthew was the lead organizer of the first-ever SXSW Gaming Awards, which is scheduled for Saturday evening, March 8. Yes, that show will go on as planned and will function as a celebration of his life.
In addition to his extensive game-related expertise, we will dearly miss his upbeat attitude and friendly demeanor around the SXSW office. Matthew loved talking about sports, travel and life. He believed passionately in the importance of increasing diversity at SXSW and also in the importance of increasing diversity in the gaming industry. His life seemed to be coming together in so many ways and he was excited about the future. Matthew, we hope you are enjoying some incredible video games on the other side.
Matthew Crump photographs by Annie Ray.