That’s right, a community based on gaming is the best community in the world. Take THAT you stupid media outlets.
I know it’s sort of weird I’m posting on a not-Monday, but there is a very important reason this has to be said before the weekend. A totally self-serving reason, but a reason nonetheless.
I have two ways of dealing with things: humor and talking about it as much as possible. Sometimes I lean one way over another, but with this whole cancer thing I’ve been doing both. It’s a scary thing, and part of that fear is in the mystery. The more I talk about it, the less mysterious it gets, and that helps take the power away from the fear. Throw in some laughter, and I’m able to spend most of my time firmly planted in “meh, shit happens” mentality.
In that spirit, I’ve been keeping the RT community up to date on what’s been going on. It’s been extremely helpful for me to be able to dump all the information and emotions there, and I’ve had a number of people tell me that seeing me be so candid about the experience has been helpful/inspirational for them, so really it seems like everyone wins. That said, the outpour of support I’ve gotten from them is staggering. I’ve been flooded with messages wishing me well, offering encouragement and support, funny little jokes, and cute animal pictures. The group I podcast with sent me flowers, two people from the RT Michigan group sent me a cute little gift basket with tea and related goodies in it, and one of my other good friends from the site sent me a box of homemade cookies with a pretty tin full of little slips of paper that had some short messages from other community members on them (how she gathered those without me knowing about it is beyond me). It’s been incredible to have that kind of support from a group I constantly refer to as “my internet family.”
Monday I got a notification that I had been tagged in someone’s journal (RT has blog post type feature on the site), which is always a nice little surprise. The little surprise turned massive pretty quickly. One of my friends was worried about us and the financial strain the upcoming medical bills may bring us, so he decided he was going to do a 24 gaming marathon starting at 7PM Saturday (August 2) streamed live on Twitch as a sort of fundraiser effort, with any money donated during that period of time sent to us to help offset that cost. The whole community has taken that idea and run with it, and are reposting it everywhere. It’s all over the site, it’s making its way around Tumblr and the RT subReddit, it’s all over Twitter, people are making videos and posters…even some of the staff is getting in on it and posting it places. Hell, I’m a freaking hashtag! It’s insane…the whole thing is just insane.
Ilan put this together without my knowledge, so I have no idea what’s actually going to happen. Apparently it’s chock full of surprises! I’ll be in the stream chat as much as possible, and will be on the stream itself with him at the 12 hour mark for a bit and then again for the last hour. I won’t be streaming game play myself, but I will be gaming here on my end while I keep an eye on the Twitch chat and stalk Twitter.
I wanted to share this not because I’m trying to be all “you should donate!”, but because I hope that any of you that are gaming inclined may stop by the stream to watch some of the game play action, and because I feel compelled to point out as often as possible how awesome the Rooster Teeth community is. We always say we watch out for our own, I just never could have imagined to what degree that would actually go.
Prior to RTX, I made a couple of friends through my backpack assembling adventure journal entries. Down at RTX, I got to meet some of them face to face. One such friend actually lives in Michigan too, just across town as it turns out. It was cool to meet someone down in Texas and have that transfer all the way up here. We got together this past week actually to have dinner and drinks.
And so I could return his super fantastic metal Halo 4 case that the entire RT crew signed.
Through a series of ridiculous events, I ended up one of the lucky ones who made it into one of the most popular signing lines on Sunday. While we were waiting around, my new MI friend and his crew found us to chat for a bit, before asking if I wouldn’t mind getting the case signed for him. He handed it over, and went about his business. By the time we exited the line, the convention center was shutting down and the MI posse had already left for the night. So what did we do? He said to just get it back to him sometime once we were back up here.
We had never met before, just talked a bit online, and suddenly for no real reason other than being a part of the same community, there was an inherent level of trust that said giving me this awesome item was no big deal, that there was no question I would return it.
He was in no rush to get it back, and it wasn’t until 2 weeks later that we were able to connect again. And that’s why I love the RT community. We can do that kind of thing. We can meet, and 72 hours later you feel comfortable enough with someone who was a stranger to just hand over something that is essentially irreplaceable with a simple “yeah I’ll get it from you later” before you wander off.
High five, Rooster Teeth community, high five.
I’m going to try my best to not ramble on and on about an event that I’m pretty sure none of you had heard of before I started geeking out over going, but I have to talk about RTX 2013 a little bit.
The cool thing about going to an event like this, even in comparison to other conventions like Comic-Con, is that every single attendee is from the exact same community. We’re all Rooster Teeth fans, even with the small divisions over which series is your favorite. Before we left, a forum thread had started where people were listing off which airport they were leaving from and when, and through this I was able to actually find someone who was going to be on the same flight as us. I found him at the gate, where he had already found another person going to the convention. By the time the plane boarded, we had a total of 14 confirmed RTXers hanging out. Because we were a small plane, that meant that about 25% of the passengers were all going to RTX!
Austin was an interesting city to visit. I now understand where the catch phrase “Keep Austin Weird” comes from. People watching was “enlightening” and the 6th street scene on Friday night was reminiscent of New Orléans during Mardi Gras without as much boob flashing (note the “as much”). It was kind of nuts. There were tons of cool places to go eat, and while we only scratched the surface I’m excited about the idea of going back there and trying more of them.
RTX as a whole was great. It was not what I expected, but I’m glad we went. The length of lines was sort of a shock, and there were definitely some scheduling and line management issues that need to be worked out for next year, but really all in all it was awesome. I got to meet almost the entire cast of Red vs Blue as well as a good bit of the rest of the Rooster Teeth crew. I missed all of the Achievement Hunters except for Jack which was a little sad, but considering how many people there are to meet and how many people are trying to meet them, I don’t think I made off too badly.
I made it to two big panels and one smaller one, and I’m so glad I made time for them. It was really cool to hear straight from the crew how they do what they do. I did get a little irritated at some of the other attendees though. If you’re unfamiliar with the setup, usually whoever is hosting a panel will talk for a while, then open up the floor to questions. I’ve never been to a convention before, but I understand there are sort of unspoken rules about what you don’t do when the floor opens up. There are people who have legitimate questions, so taking up space in line to circumvent the process going on down on the main floor to ask “will you sign this for me?” is not cool. Asking for shout outs is not cool. Requesting a voice actor to say a specific phrase in the character’s voice so you can record it is not cool. Ignoring protocol for presenting gifts to the panel cast and coming to the microphone to make a show of it is not cool Asking a basic question that has been answered a hundred times over in various videos and other produced media from the panel participants like “where does the name Rooster Teeth come from?”, while slightly less egregious than the previous points, is still not cool. One of the big panels I went to, this all happened over and over again, and as an audience member it was irritating, but it was especially frustrating watching the people who were at the end of the line for the microphone not get to ask their questions because all of these other people broke the “rules”. I’m hoping that maybe in the future they implement a sort of screening process and weed out those people.
One of the coolest parts of the trip was the reaction to the backpack I made. I made updates on the RT site forums on the progress of it as I made it, so there were a good number of people who were able to pick me out of a crowd because of it. I had a number of “hey, aren’t you Jenn?” moments, which was really neat. The best reactions though were from RT crew. When I meet Matt, the CEO and voice of Sarge, he actually asked me for my picture with the backpack, to which I got all giggly. He also requested I go over and talk to the people who run the RT Store about it, and they were also impressed by it. The funniest one though was Kara, their office manager and person in charge of costuming. Since I try to keep my blog PG I can’t repeat exactly what she said, but “awesome” and “fantastic” were used. She had a mini-heart attack over it, and offered to pay me to make her one. Jenn = majorly happy
They’re a young convention, so they still have some issues they need to work out. Line management was a nightmare (though they did implement some on the fly fixes for the last day which helped), to the point where an unhappy fire marshal made an appearance on the second morning. Scheduling was a little cuckoo, where crew members were actually supposed to be in two places at once, leaving some unhappy attendees waiting for them for extended periods of time. The Guardians (volunteers who helped run the event) did a pretty good job corralling everyone appropriately, but there were definitely some inconsistencies in how the rules were implemented and enforced, also leading to some unhappy attendees. I’m sure they are issues the staff is aware of and will work on for next year, so I’ll be interested to see how they play out. Because I will definitely be there to see how it plays out.