“The world is a little less bright without him in it.”
Jarod Nandin, the cosplayer most famous for his portrayal of the “South Park Guy,” has passed away from COVID-19, according to World of Warcraft newsite Wowhead. Nandin first reported his condition to his social media followers on December 18, 2020, before ultimately passing on January 3, 2021.
Wasn’t sure I was gonna worry you guys but things are now looking good. Went to the ER yesterday for chest pains. They suspect I have covid. Test results not in yet. Feeling better after treatments. Again, things look good so don’t fret. Will keep you all posted. pic.twitter.com/T7x6VFtqbC
— NWBZPWNR (@JarodNWBZPWNR) December 19, 2020
“Wasn’t sure I was gonna worry you guys but things are now looking good,” he said on Twitter. “Went to the ER yesterday for chest pains. They suspect I have covid. Test results not in yet. Feeling better after treatments. Again, things look good so don’t fret. Will keep you all posted.”
He would provide several updates over the course of the next week before ultimately reporting critically low oxygen saturation on December 28, the last post on his condition. He passed away a week later.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) January 4, 2021
Nandin’s claim to fame may be considered niche or unusual by all accounts, as he cosplayed a throwaway character meant to be the butt of a joke with, at best, a one-dimensional personality. Appearing in South Park season 10, episode 8 titled Make Love, Not Warcraft, the character was obsessed with World of Warcraft at the expense of any sort of self-care, including exercising, bathing, or proper nutrition, and took pleasure in terrorizing lower level players. The main characters took it upon themselves to defeat this player by levelling up in a tedious manner off his radar, in the process gaining weight and forgoing basic hygiene to ensure they were focused at all times.
The character was meant to poke fun at the obsessive side of a particular type of gamer in what could have been taken as a negative portrayal. But Nandin saw something in “The South Park Guy” that was humanizing. “People can relate to it,” Nandin said in a 2014 interview with LAWeekly. “We know somebody like that or we’re like that.” So when he debuted the costume at Blizzcon in 2013, he put that idea of relate-ability to the test, and the masses agreed with an overwhelmingly positive response.
For the people that knew Nandin, the loss has been devastating. “The Blizzcon Cosplay community lost a friend to Covid today,” said WoW Cosplayer Little Sparkz. “Jarod Nandin was best known for his cosplay of The Warcraft South Park Guy but he was also an advocate for cosplay positivity and encouraged people to cosplay whatever they want. He will be missed.”
“Today the Warcraft & greater Blizzard community lost one of its sweetest souls to Covid,” said host and actor Michele Morrow.
Dozens more posted heartfelt messages on the GoFundMe for Nandin’s memorial fund to cover related expenses. “Today we lost a brother and to a mother, a son. A man who touched so, so many in the cosplay community by his contagious laugh and kindness. He was a proponent for body positivity, encouraging people to dress up as whatever character they wanted to,” said Christopher Canizales, the fund’s organizer.
“With love to Jarod’s family. The world is a little less bright without him in it,” said a donor. “Jarod was the best of us. Truly one of the kindest, funniest, sweetest guys I’ve ever known,” said another.
If you are interested in contributing to Nandin’s Memorial Fund, please visit his GoFundMe here.