Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary
Loaded and Ready to Run

Nick Halme | 6 Jul 2010 13:25
Happy Anniversary - RSS 2.0

When the meeting wraps, we head downstairs to start shooting. Next to the ENN desk is a green screen and a ping pong table, which is folded up to make room for equipment. A long clothing rack lines one side of the room and props are stacked in tubs along the other. As I search for a hat in one of the bins, I hear something you will only hear from sketch comics: "We organize our hats by rank of silliness."

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It's Sunday and the crew are holding a special breakfast meeting to discuss a super-secret communiqué they received the night before. I lie on my Snoopy-blanket-furnished cot and stare at a near-blank page of my notepad. Kathleen's cat Annika (who is actually a male cat, long story) does his best to anchor me to the bed, ensuring that I write something down. Scribbled in the top left corner is the fragment "They reflect something ... " until writer's block kicked in immediately and brought it to a halt. I'd started to write that their comedy is a perfect reflection of the core gamer - an incredibly humble group of talented, dare I say, nerdy friends who spend their time making a metric ass-tonne of funny videos, playing videogames, watching movies and reading comics just because. Hardly all of their content is directly about videogames, but this is humor as produced by gaming minds. And, as gamers, their sense of pride is held stiffly in check. If it so happens that they are praised or paid, it is, in some sense, unsolicited. The fact that they did this for years before they made any real money is a sign that they do it because that's just what they do. It is a bonus that like-minded people have crowded around their content to enjoy and support it. But really what I'm trying to say is less stilted than that original scribble - they make people like me laugh, and that's the short of it.

For most involved, LRR is a full-time job, yet some do it without it paying like one. When asked if the end goal was to make a living out of it, Jeremy responded, "Yes - whether that is achievable for seven people remains to be seen, but I think this is certainly the hope. Going in to work to be creative every day is what some might call a dream job." On the development side of videogames, people work hard to find a place at a big company, and then usually splinter off to forge something for themselves; the LRR crew has, astoundingly, set their own groundwork with their own sweat and toil since day one.

Don't think I'm kidding about sweat and toil. Scripts are being written all week, shooting throughout, and they meet every weekend. Just following them around was exhausting enough to break my insomnia streak for the duration of my stay. What does Paul do when he's not working on LRR? "Sleep," he said.

I'm at a loss for words (well ... not literally). I've done some interviews in the past, but generally I have trouble being around people. But spending the weekend with LRR was a blast. These are the sort of friends any gamer wishes that they grew up with. According to Kathleen, the feeling is mutual. "Without exception, every single LRR fan I've met is someone I've wanted to hang out with and be friends with - I'd say to them 'you're great, let's get some beers.'"

Nick Halme is loaded and ready, but probably too out of shape to run. He spends his daylight hours watching an incredibly angry spaceman hit orcs really, really hard.

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