Extra Life 2014 with Team N2: Ninja Nerds

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It’s that time of year again where gamers from all over the world, well… game! But it is during this time where we unite as one unit, play video and/or tabletop games for 24 hours in an effort to raise money for children in need. If you are not familiar with the concept of Extra Life, please take a few extra minutes to read up on the Children’s Miracle Network. Extra Life, lead by creator Doc Adams and community manager Rick Heaton,  works hand in hand with CMN to raise money for children who are need of extra assistance. Whether it be terminal illness, physical or mental trauma etc.. these children and their families are backed into a very scary corner and there are so many who have no one to turn to for help. Imagine being a mother and hoping and praying that your child will make it through the night. Imagine not being able to help your child because of financial burden. This is where Extra Life comes in. It is an amazing program that helps these families. Last year, Extra Life managed to raise over 4 million in donations thanks to gamers and their supporters. Imagine what we can do this year.

I started doing Extra Life two years ago, and I was amazed that I surpassed my goals each year. In 2012, I did Extra Life on my own. Even though I had a poorly displayed livestream of Resident Evil 6, my friends and family pushed me to my $1,000 goal In 2013, I joined Team Rooster Teeth, lead by Jack Pattillo (who really is a teddy bear of a man if you’ve never met him). I broke my goal of $1,000 early in the gaming marathon and bumped up my goal to $1,500. While I did not make the second goal, I was still grateful to achieve what I had.

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Rooster Teeth as a whole was (I believe) the top Extra Life team last year, managing to raise over $340,000 in donations. AMAZING. I highly recommend being a part of this community. Because of moments like these.

This year, my aim is to lead a small team (called the Ninja Nerds) with a personal goal of $1,500 and a team goal of $2,000. If you would like to join my team, I will welcome you with open arms. Extra Life is a bit special to me because it just so happens to launch in my birthday month. Rather than giving or sending me presents, I would love it if you could donate to my Extra Life page instead. Even if it’s just a dollar, that is an extra dollar that goes straight to a child who needs to battle cancer or some other horrible illness.

So please help me celebrate my birthday, and as always, I will write a story for the person who pledges the highest donation. Two years ago, a friend donated quite a bit and asked that I flesh out the Assassin’s Creed 3 ending, and I came up with this. Last year, I had to write a more personal story for a good friend of mine, but you get the idea. This is the only way I am able to give something back to this awesome community.

If you would like to join the team, please go here. 

If you would like to donate to my personal page, please go here. 

Thanks for reading! Game on, fellow nerds and geeks!

RT Vegas Recap! A month and a half later…

On June 15th, I hosted the second RT Vegas and I was ecstatic to meet more people and see some RT Vegas veterans as well! The first leg of our journey took us to Pole Position (no, it’s not what it sounds like). In honor of Mario Kart 8 launching, I thought it would be fun for the group to go gokarting! Behold, my 2014 RT Vegas friends.

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We were a small group, but we came together because we are fans of Rooster Teeth and the 15th of every month was dubbed RT Community Day. It only seemed right that we have our gathering a few weeks before RTX (Rooster Teeth’s annual con). This community amazes me and I love that age, race, and gender do not matter. We love Rooster Teeth. It’s as simple as that.

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Afterward, we had lunch and I really got to sit down and talk to these people. All of us loved different parts of RT. Some of us prefer the video podcasts, others enjoy watching Red vs Blue and RWBY… It was great to hear what each preference was. Most of us were raised/born in the same city, but we never met and honestly, we had no reason to meet until now. And I also have to admit that I was stoked to see two young women attend! While I didn’t mind being the only woman present for RT Vegas 2013, it was refreshing to have Chey and Sam attend this year, so thank you very much ladies! I will always remember turning around, seeing a RWBY shirt and going “OH MY GOD, YOU CAME TO RT VEGAS!” and giving you guys big hugs.

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We did have a side adventure that I didn’t plan at all and it ended up with us playing hours of Mario Kart at Anime Revolution. Other than it being an awesome game, we had the motivation of receiving 20% off our purchase in the store if we could beat the owner in a complete game of MK8. Only one of use could accomplish the task. Huge congrats to Chris on his new backpack and thank you the Anime Revolution for being a part of RT Vegas!

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The next day, we found ourselves going to the Circus Circus midway, and we won a ton of stuffed animals (after spending a crapton of money). The most important thing is that we had a blast. I set my mind to obtaining a unicorn plush, and I got my damn unicorn plush.

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People have asked me how to host gatherings like these since Rooster Teeth encourages their fans to meet and become friends. The best answer I can give is to just do it. The forums are open for you to coordinate times and schedules and if you run into a snag, there are tons of people to ask for help and advice. One thing I will say, you have to be active. Interact with people, connect with them, let them know who you are and what you’re about.

You don’t have to be the most popular community member on the website, but you do have to make an effort to get your name out there for the sake of being recognized as someone people can look up to as a host. And even if you don’t have a lot of people show up for your gathering, who cares? You are doing this because you are part of an amazing community. If you aren’t comfortable hosting an event, throw the idea out there. That’s how RT Vegas started. People asked “hey, how come Vegas doesn’t have anything like this?” and I thought “well, it should!” Then bam! Here I am, two events later.

These things can only happen if you take the initiative. And understand that you don’t have to do this alone. Rooster Teeth has fans all over the globe. If I can make an event happen in Vegas (a town not exactly known for its geeky culture), anything is possible. I don’t have a ton of experience, but I will share everything I can to ensure that you (my fellow community member) will have a great time and will meet new people.

To my attendees, thank you for coming out and it was awesome meeting you and seeing some of you at RTX! Dustin, I cannot believe you flew out here again, so thank you for your continued support. If you’d like to keep tabs on these lovely people, you can, of course, find them on the Rooster Teeth website.

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Until RT Vegas 2015!

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I started to write…

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I started to write

What would I jot down?  Many nails did I bite.

And then it hit me, so I began to type

Hurriedly, quickly, the ideas were still ripe.

 

Here, let me tell you of my adventure so far

The start of the year was less than sub par.

For I was broken, but not of bone mind you

My heart was in pieces, blackened and blue.

 

I was hurt but not lost; I trudged on ahead.

I was down but not out, I was far from dead.

Over few months time, I could smile once more.

May opened up my first happiness door.

 

Hosting RT Vegas was a dream of mine

Rooster Teeth Vegas fans, ‘twas our time to shine.

Thank you Dane, Daniel, Dustin, Michael and Nick

You guys are so awesome, my very top pick!

 

And extending my thanks to the very group

that threw our party for such a huge loop!

What group you ask? Why it’s the B Team!

It took much willpower not to fangirl and scream

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But my thanks for Rooster Teeth ends not in May.

July 5th is marked as such a special day.

I’m an RTX Guardian, hip hip, hooray!

My happiness level is more than I can say!

 

I was a noob but paired with a great crew.

Surrounded by friends some old and some new

Thank you so much to our leading lady

We couldn’t have done it without you, Caiti!

 

A fantastic con, my words are at a loss

Demarais, my fav Hobbit, you’re such a cool boss!

Such great memories I will cherish forever

My love for these people will never be severed.

 

Parts of 2013 had also brought tears.

Two friends were taken, too early in their years

Always remembered, their legacies live on

Through those they are still here, never truly gone.

 

What to learn from this, answers there are many

I say cherish loved ones, more than dimes and pennies.

Mike and Knuckles you are thought of every day

You both are missed, so much more than I can say

 

And then in August, my dad became dog sitter

For I was off to DragonCon thanks to friends from Twitter.

A weekend full of panels, drinking and more

So many cosplays I saw were seriously hardcore!

 

I could not believe how happy I felt.

I met new friends, they made my heart melt.

Dauna, Emma, Kelly, Eric, Kathleen,

DA2 cosplay group, best cosplays I’ve seen

 

Karissa, Liz, Miranda and Scott,

Best roomies ever for the con ticket I bought.

Tymber, Adriaan, Amanda, Eric, Susanne…

HUGS ALL THE FACES, as many as I can

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Aaryn, Aidan, Dave, Bioware men I adore

Team Fangirls sends kisses, hugs and more! (as in love ya pervs =P)

I drank with Steve Jaros and Chris Avellone

Leading men in the industry, mind = blown

 

And to my leather making friends Misty and Lance

Heart your faces for giving cosplay a chance.

Dragon Age Tallis debuted at this con.

Be proud you guys, many hearts it has won.

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And as it does annually, my birthday was here

This one was special, the best in many years.

So grateful for all who came to celebrate

Shots, bull riding, beer pong… God it was late!

 

Looking back on everything, I couldn’t believe

How I started the year in sadness and grief.

But how that has changed because of family and friends,

I want to hug all your faces, my lovely godsends.

 

Shortly after I found myself in a pinch!

Surely this would make me a Grinch!

I lost my job, but I held my head high.

Company merge be damned, I refused to cry.

 

I feel liberated so it’s a blessing in disguise.

Seriously, don’t feel bad for me guys.

I’m keeping busy, finally raising life’s bar

A writing project called Fallout Lonestar!

 

Many doors will fly open, at least… I hope.

Writing is medicinal for it is how I cope.

But life is a mystery, destination unseen

You continue being better than you have ever been.

 

And now here we are on Christmas Day

I want to tell you one more thing, if I may.

My dad has worked for the last twenty plus years

Through this day but now we’ve switched gears!

 

He has the day off and now we can spend

The holiday as a whole family again!

So comes an end of my twenty thirteen tale.

It was full of win and of some fail.

 

How you spend today, I wish you this

May your holiday season be full of joy and bliss,

So to you my loves, I raise my beer

I say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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I know it’s not beer… work with me here…

Allow me to tell you about my Rooster Teeth family

Over the years, the Rooster Teeth “community” slowly evolved to Rooster Teeth “family” and this past weekend affirmed my belief. I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Child’s Play dinner and auction in Bellevue, WA. I spent months going to the gym, trying my best to fit into a dress that wouldn’t zip up all the way years ago.  Two days before the dinner, I tried the dress on and you can imagine my victory shout when I realized the dress fit me comfortably. I was also being hosted by the lovely community members SailorTweek and SirNarvy. If you are unfamiliar with these two, they were the head Guardians of Rooster Teeth’s annual convention two years in a row and they are absolutely wonderful people.

I was so excited to attend the Child’s Play dinner with my friends because you see, we are from all over the place. The internet brought us together, and we formed very unique and cherished friendships. I also met up with fellow community members OboeCrazy, Luke McKay, Count3D, RagingTerror, and Trocadero’s leading man, Nico.

I flew in the day of the dinner, got settled and dressed, and we were rocking those dresses and suits shortly after. About two hours into the silent bidding, I told Tweek that I felt very dizzy and hot. It hit me rather quickly, and I remember placing my hand on one of the tables and Tweek asked me if I wanted to sit down. All I remember after that was saying yes. The next thing I know, I’m hearing voices and I’m staring at the ceiling. When logic finally took over, I looked down and realized that I was not in my PJs and I was on the floor in my dress. My next thought was “holy crap, did I hit my head?” but I felt someone’s hand on the back of my head and no pain. A jacket was pushed under my head and we waited until security came.

When I was able to sit up, I was continuously asked if I knew my name and the date and where I was. I answered all the questions correctly, but I was not confident I could stand. The paramedics came and they took my blood pressure and tested my blood sugar. On the upside, all of them were pretty cute. They again asked me a load of questions, one of them being “are you pregnant?” and I just went “HEEEEELLLL NOOOOOO.” They helped me to my feet and tested my blood pressure again, and it dropped to an alarming level. I felt that same dizzy spell hit me again. They gave me two options: leave in an ambulance to go to the hospital or leave with a friend to go to the hospital.

I. Was. Livid. I wasn’t mad at the emergency response team; I was mad because I had been looking forward to this night for months and after the anger passed, I was just heartbroken. I wanted to meet up with so many people and I wanted to take a picture with the DoubleClicks. There was so much I wanted to do. And there was a gorgeous hardcover of The Neverending Story that I wanted. Wasn’t meant to be I suppose. Because I was laid off from my job a couple months ago, I opted to not take an expensive ride in the ambulance even though I always wanted to experience that. SirNarvy left to get the car, and I was wheeled out of the event. Tweek has a picture somewhere, I know she does. I told her to take one while I was flashing a peace sign. In moments like these, I had to find humor wherever I could.

So off to the hospital we go. I told SirNarvy that he could leave me there and go back to the dinner, but he never left. I volunteered to be a Guardian for RTX earlier in the year, so I had the pleasure of working with him and Tweek. I don’t remember the exact wording, but I heard “I have to make sure my soldiers are all right.” For the next couple of hours, I had blood drawn and an EKG done and we ended up talking about various topics. The whole time, he kept open communication with Tweek and she kept texting back that they missed me and they loved me.

After more questions about my health and inquiring once again if I’m pregnant and once again me vehemently responding “HELL NO”, the doctor told me that everything looked fine. And because this was a first time occurrence, my episode could have been a combination of standing for along period of time in heels coupled with the exhaustion of traveling. He discharged me a few minutes later. By now, it was 10:50PM and Child’s Play would end at 11:00PM. I told SirNarvy that we are not missing the last few minutes of Child’s Play because of my stupid body. So he drove us back to the event, and we managed to hang out a bit more with everyone.

When people saw that I was alive and well, I was getting bits and pieces of the story about what happened while I blacked out. After I said I was dizzy, Tweek walked behind me because she saw that I was not capable of standing any longer. She caught me, and asked the guys for help. Nico held my head while SirNarvy bundled his jacket for me. They said I was out for about 15 seconds. I have no recollection of those 15 seconds whatsoever and that scares me to no end. When the EMT guys said I had to go to the hospital, SirNarvy and Count3D both offered to take me, very well knowing that they would miss the dinner.

Guys, I cannot express how incredibly lucky I felt that night. Had that happened while I was alone, I don’t know what would have happened to me. It’s unfortunate, but it couldn’t have happened around better people. I cannot believe that SirNarvy sacrificed his night and stayed with me at the hospital. And I cannot believe how many messages and tweets I received that night from tons of people just checking in on me and sending me positive thoughts.  I can’t believe the friends who were still at the event were that worried about me. These are people that I essentially met on the internet and met up with face to face because of a geeky convention. As time went by, we went from acquaintances to friends, and now from friends to family. I would do the same for them in a heartbeat if they needed me to. It is in that moment, that I found such joy.

This is the Rooster Teeth community at its very core. We all signed up on the site because of funny videos, but what we truly get out of being part of this community is so much more. I am so lucky, so grateful and so thankful. I truly do love you guys with all my heart, and thank you so much for being there for me.

Mr. and Mrs. Tweek, you guys are unmatched in the love you show for your friends and family. I don’t know what I did to deserve your friendship, but I am so happy that I have you both in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Below photo taken by Dom (Count3D)

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MY HEROS (taken after the hospital visit)

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RWBY – Created by Monty Oum, Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna

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RWBY (pronounced like Ruby) is an animated series created by Monty Oum (Dead Fantasy), Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna (Red vs Blue) and it is produced by Rooster Teeth Productions. Since launching its first episode on July 18, 2013, the series has found many fans, inspired tons of amazing cosplay, and has currently landed itself in the number 2 spot on Crunchyroll for most popular series. RWBY features both voice veterans and new voices behind the unique characters and a dazzling array of mind boggling fighting styles.

What is RWBY about? Thank God for Wikipedia but what has been shown to us in Volume 1, main character Ruby Rose (voiced by Lindsay Tuggey) has been accepted into Beacon Academy, a special school that will help train and hone her fighting skills so she may become a Huntress. In the world of RWBY, supernatural monsters are very real, and Hunters and Huntresses are needed to fight them off. Ruby is joined by three other women, her older sister Yang (Barbara Dunkleman), the spoiled heiress Weiss (Kara Eberle), and the ever mysterious Blake (Arryn Zech). In the first 16 episodes of the series, the ladies learn how to study together, live together, how to fight as a team, and when they do battles monsters of the unknown, hold on to your seats. If Dead Fantasy rocked your socks, RWBY will rock your entire world.

What a lot of fans may not know is how much time, effort, and energy has gone into meeting the deadlines for this series. What team RWBY has accomplished is nothing short of amazing. In general, Rooster Teeth spoils their fans with community interaction and team RWBY is no different. There have been many posts via Twitter and RT journals by various members of team RWBY teasing fans, showing progress of the series, and these posts will come in at all hours of the day. Monty and his team are notorious for staying up until odd hours of the night and even camping out in the RT offices.

They’ve faced a load of criticism ranging from “how dare you make these episodes only 7 minutes long” to “this isn’t true anime. GTFO” and not once have they budged from their end goal. They continued on with their work, met their deadlines, had fun while doing it, and they created an animated show that I will describe simply as AMAZEBALLS. If you are looking for something new and refreshing, check out RWBY. All the episodes can be found on Roosterteeth.com. RWBY does contain many characteristics of the classic Japanese anime style us nerds and geeks love, and more importantly, Monty, Kerry, and Miles have created something entirely unique and something that is truly their own.

Volume 1 has been completed, its episode finale airing November 7, 2013. The DVD and Blu Ray are currently available for pre order and will be released November 12, 2013. The team is already hard at work with Volume 2, and fans cannot wait to see what’s going to be thrown at them next.

This team (the creators, producers, coordinators, animators, designers, voice actors, all of them) have worked around the clock and took an idea and made it into something real. Be inspired by their dedication. I am.