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Obituary: Game Industry Artist Don Barnes

Obituary: Game Industry Artist Don Barnes

January 31, 2011 | By Kris Graft

January 31, 2011 | By Kris Graft
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More: Console/PC, Art



Video game industry artist and father of two Don Barnes died last Wednesday from stab wounds incurred when he intervened in an argument between a man and woman outside his apartment.

Authorities found Barnes, 41, dead at the scene from wounds to his torso. The altercation occurred in the evening outside his Conejo Valley, CA apartment, according to the Ventura County Star.

The county, an affluent area known for being safe despite its high population, is located in southern California along the Pacific Coast.

Barnes is credited with creating art for games including titles in Electronic Arts' Madden NFL series and the recent Call of Duty: Black Ops from Activision. Recent positions also included lead character artist on Activision's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Kung Fu Panda.

His 17-year-old daughter, Maddie Barnes, said her 8-year-old brother was at the apartment when the altercation occurred. He reportedly did not see what happened, but heard the entire ordeal.

Authorities arrested 23-year-old Bikram Singh Otal as a suspect in the murder. Otal was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors treated undisclosed wounds incurred in the conflict. The suspect, jailed as of last Thursday under $500,000 bail, was not stabbed, the report said.

Rev. Melissa McCarthy, who pastors at the Church of the Epiphany in Oak Park where Barnes volunteered and regularly attended, said he was "one of the nicest people you'll ever meet."

"He was a great guy, very funny and happy, and it's really sad his life was cut short like this. He's a hero," his daughter also told the Star.

On gaming forum Quarter to Three, a commenter who said he is a former coworker of Barnes stated, "Those of us who knew him knew he was a guy who understood right and wrong, and wasn't one to stand by idly when there was a chance he could help someone. In this case, it cost him his life."

Barnes' last employer, Broodworks, is examining the possibility of starting a college fund for Barnes' children, according to the commenter.


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