We all have our favorite series or franchises. Works that have been with us for seemingly forever because time means nothing as we enjoy them. Never growing old, never getting stale. For some it began in their childhood, for others it could be yesterday. For me it began when I got kicked out of a bar.
It was a trashy dance bar in Central Illinois that let in 18 year olds. I tried to enjoy some underage drinking, but my attempt at slyness failed miserably. I didn’t cause a fuss, just calmly allowed the bouncer to lead me outside where I called my buddy who had driven me to get his keys so I could go somewhere else (with the promise I pick his future inebriated self up when he was finished). I drove back to the fraternity house I was staying at to find something to keep me awake for the next few hours. Walking in I discovered a few of my friends hanging out in the main room watching TV. At first I thought they were playing Halo, but multiplayer games usually don’t have dialogue. Intrigued (and a little bored, remember my night of drinking was over) I watched my first episodes of Red vs. Blue, the flagship machinima web series of Rooster Teeth, a production studio located in Austin, TX.
I caught up with all of the seasons (my first “binge watching” honestly) over the next few days and kept up with new episodes on the Internet. I followed the web comic they did for a while, watched the shorts with my brother (who I also turned on to the show) and tuned into the Drunk Tank (later Rooster Teeth Podcast) when I finally got an iPod. I saw them experiment with anime, a Mythbuster-esque science show and reality television. The company always had a strong video game influence, which is very apparent in Achievement Hunter, their core brand on YouTube, which produces a range of videos from strategy guides to “Let’s Plays” where we watch the on-air talent be really…really bad at video games. Yet it is still amazing to watch.
The funny thing is, I don’t even play video games. I mean I have played games in the past (I used to own an original Nintendo), but it has been years since I have played them regularly. Yet everyday, on the train ride home from work or the few moments of free time I get before bed, I watch their daily videos and laugh. It is their commitment to providing funny and entertaining content that keeps me coming back. Although strong in the video game culture, the people who work for the company also come from a wide variety of fandom (such as Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and Game of Thrones). This collection of fans have managed to create something brilliant all because a couple friends sat down to play a game together.
And that is what I love most about the company. It represents an evolution of the entertainment industry. Employees are found from within the community of fans, collaboration with potential competitors is seen as a serious option when producing content and a they desire to always do something new and different, not just remaking the same tired crap or jumping on the next big trend. Rooster Teeth has just celebrated their 10th anniversary and I hope they will still be around for another decade.
We all geek out in our own unique ways. I geek out by what happened after someone said: “Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it a Warthog? I think it looks more like a Puma!”