A sad day in Quincy, Massachusetts begins for the family of Matthias Brewer, who has died of an alleged overdose after posting a picture of his wife Sarah Brewer playing The Shadow of the Colossus re-master on Reddit. Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” awards its users with points called “karma” for posts that garner lots of upvotes. Brewer’s post to r/Gaming, titled “My wife playing my favorite game as a kid… in HD!” was unfortunately so popular that it caused his tragic death yesterday, January 29th.
Dr. Roger Pabst, who specializes in the impact of the web on our brains, says that it was only a matter of time before we’d see a karma overdose—and that more could be coming. “In the case of Mr. Brewer, there are classic signs of karma addiction, right from the beginning. Looking through his post history, it only took him posting a screenshot from Spider-Man PS4 and saying something witty in the comments section of r/AskReddit to start the cycle. After that, it’s hard to get out.”
Matthias leaves behind his wife Sarah, a bought-new 2008 silver Kia Optima with vanity plate “SP33DY”, and a daughter. He was known by his friends for being a gamer, father, and an avid Reddit user. “He actually paid for Reddit Premium,” says Joseph Green, Brewer’s lifelong friend. “I mean, he didn’t just pretend to adopt a stock image of a cat like the rest of us to get some Reddit Gold. He actually bought it. You look back and see the signs, and you just ask yourself if there was anything you could have done if you’d caught them sooner.
When asked to comment on the effect of his website on Brewer’s death, co-founder of Reddit Steve “spez” Huffman shared his deepest sympathies, saying there is “no possible way for fake internet points to have such an immediate impact on someone’s physical health,” and “What is Nerfwire and how did you get a press badge to this conference?”
Matthias’ Reddit account, u/Matthiasthegamerguy, was awarded 33,936 karma for his post, and is available for purchase on eBay for the low price of thirteen dollars.