I unironically think it’s quite touching when people dedicate video game FAQs to dead pets and/or relatives.
Consider this, from Brian Sulpher’s Super Black Bass FAQ, written in late 2002:
“Also, In memory of Howler and Koonce. You two never had a good start in your lives, but you had a good time when you spent your time at my house. It was oh so unfortunate that you both had your already tragic lives cut short, but I can only hope that I helped make your life a more enjoyable experience. You too will be missed, but not forgotten.”
What we can assume from this: that Howler and Koonce were not only animals rescued and adopted as pets by Sulpher and his family from unfortunate circumstances, but animals that did not, for whatever reason—possibly related to those circumstances—get to live out a natural lifespan.
I’ve never written an FAQ, for a video game or anything else, but I’ve read a damned lot of them, and I can imagine—especially in the case of writing one where there is little-to-no previously extant material from which to draw—that it’s both a time-consuming affair and a labor of love: you put in all this work because, on some level, you want people to enjoy this game as much as you did, you want to strip away any potential impediments between some future player of this game and the genuine fulfillment you believe they have the potential to experience. It’s not hard to imagine this fellow sitting and playing and taking notes and writing and fine-tuning and etc etc with the loss of these rescued pets—and the bittersweet reassurance he undoubtedly received that you gave them a better life and it was all for the best—fresh in his mind.
Did the single-minded and detail-oriented work of writing this FAQ—an FAQ he must have known on some level would go widely unread, being as it was a document to accompany an unpopular game in an unpopular genre on a long-dead console—help Sulpher work through or distract himself from his grief, even in some small way? It’s impossible to tell, really: apart from the editorial material at the beginning and end, it’s a strictly technical document with very few personal flourishes or instances of anything that you might recognize as an authorial “voice”.
It seems like it’d be pretty easy to make knee-jerk fun of the impulse to dedicate a document as seemingly low-culture and ephemeral as a video game FAQ to the lives and/or memories of living things—I say that because that’s exactly the sort of cheap, easy shot I took vigorously and often as a young man—but it’s worth considering that this is a work in which time and care was invested, and its subject matter and venue of publication do not diminish that or the sincerity with which the dedication was written.