"Inspiration for the show pretty much comes from our gaming experiences online and an exaggerated comedic twist on our own lives," Geoff tells me. "There was no one else making TV shows with authentic gamer content. Because this niche existed, there was a lot to say and plenty of potential material. Creating the show was very natural because Jarett and I would have long discussions about C&C Zero Hour strategies, developments in the community, game design, industry news, etc."
Jarett chimes in: "Having been a hardcore gamer my entire life, the characters in Pure Pwnage didn't exactly require much research to develop. I've personally been a competitive RTS player, lost a few years of my life to an MMO addiction and have smashed a good number of keyboards due to lag in FPS games. Growing up, I was not-so-lovingly referred to as 'Nintendo Boy' in elementary school. A big part of my inspiration is to not only write a show whose content resonates among gamers worldwide, but one that empowers them and helps to make gaming something 'cool.'"
None of this should surprise anyone who's watched the show; their love for all things videogames exudes from every story point and aesthetic decision, from original songs like "I Feel Like Pwning Noobs" to the plethora of gaming-chic T-shirts available in the Noob Store that wouldn't look out of place in an urban fashion boutique. This is no accident, of course; Pure Pwnage understands gamers not just because they are gamers, but also because they're constantly in touch with them. Their forums are home to more than 20,000 users, public screenings regularly boast an attendance in the hundreds, and the dog-tag-carrying ranks of the Pure Pwnage Gamer Army grow daily. In true Web 2.0 fashion, Pure Pwnage is a conversation between producer and consumer, not a one-way street.
Even the shirts are a product of user involvement. "Regarding shirts, we sometimes use our audience and forum community as a sounding board," Geoff explains to me. "We pay attention to the elements of the show that resonate in our community, and often that's how a new shirt design comes about. A good example is the 'Jeremy Silhouette,' which has become one of our core icons. ... It first made a short appearance in the beginning of Episode 4; soon after we were seeing it everywhere on the forums in avatars and autosigs."