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LoadingReadyRun: My gateway drug

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I often start on a train of thought and, as it progresses, my mind goes on different tangents and rabbit trails until several minutes later when I realize that my brain is totally off topic and I try to retrace the path back to the root of the thought tree. After doing this for about the third time today, I decided to do the same thing with my current interests, how I stumbled upon the things that I like, and it turns out that LoadingReadyRun has been far and away one of the biggest influences on my multimedia life.

In a more basic sense, I suppose it stems from internet comedy in general. The root of this tree is IRL, and its children are online. The farthest back I can trace in a continuous path is back in 2008 when a couple of my real-life friends told me about a YouTube sketch comedy group called Balloon Shop who used to attend their high school. Back then, we thought they were flippin’ hilarious, but really, they weren’t and only got less so. Before becoming disenfranchised with them, one of their members posted a link on his Facebook to the Zero Punctuation review of Gears of War 2 on the Escapist in January of ’09. I thought it was pretty funny and decided to click around on the other videos on the site, when I found Unskippable. Watching that, I noticed that the voices seemed familiar and clicked the link to their site, whereupon I recalled that I had seen LRR’s “Fun With Microwaves” video back in 2008. And from there, things went squirrelly.

An archive binge ensued, and I continued to keep up with LoadingReadyRun as they released new videos and created new series. I paid special attention to CommodoreHustle and the Phailhaus, and also started listening to their podcast. When I realized that they were very much not dicks and actually had very good tastes, I began trying out things they recommended.  Here is a short list of things I experienced through the direct influence of LRR: In Bruges, Persona 4, Magic: the Gathering, Metal Gear Solid, Andrew WK, Child’s Play charity, Yu-Gi-Oh: Abridged, poutine, and more. I even gained a newfound appreciation for Sir Mix-a-Lot’s magnum opus, Baby Got Back.

But the amazing part is that these direct children also led me to secondary interests. The unholy gangbang of Persona 4, Yu-Gi-Oh: Abridged, and LRR’s personal recommendation led me to commit an atrocity I’d never dreamt possible: I actually watched anime. And not just the little bits of Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragonball Z I saw on Toonami after Ed, Edd, & Eddy when I was a kid, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Code Geass, and FLCL. Don’t worry, I haven’t turned into some otaku monstrosity or anything, but rather through LoadingReadyRun, I have experienced many different genres of entertainment I would have otherwise never even considered. They’ve really opened me up to a wider sample of culture, given me a better appreciation for the world around me, and simply entertained me in dozens of ways.

So thank you, LoadingReadyRun, for helping shape who I am today. You’ve led me to numerous culturally enriching sources of  entertainment and given me an assload of laughs. Keep doing the awesome stuff you do.

Unrelated, but I’ve written another article for HardyDev on the nominees for the Best AGS Game of 2010 award, which astute readers will notice is pretty much the same article I wrote last year with some of the names changed around.

Written by Drew Wellman

02/23/2011 at 12:31 AM

Posted in Everything

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Hall of Dennis

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One simple question, who is the best Dennis? Well little kids, through the science/magic of the patented Wellman Dennis Score Index™, we’re about to find out!

Dennis from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

This anarcho-syndicalist peasant from 10th century England worked hard to get on this list. He had to overcome the forces of imperialist repression to prevent the perpetuation of national and regional totalitarianism and blahdy-blahdy-blah. If there’s one thing wrong with Dennis, it’s that he talks so bloody much. He’s like someone’s dad at their party who drones on and on to uninterested guests about good choices of major in the current economic climate.

Hit Points: 62/100

Intelligence: 80/100

Flavor: 12/100

Denis Leary

You might say that Leary doesn’t belong on this list because his name only has one “n” per the traditional Irish spelling. 1: That’s racist. 2: SHUT UP. Besides starring in some movies and TV shows, Leary also features prominently in my fantasies as the captain of the Roxanne.

Hit Points: 77/100

Intelligence: 38/100

Flavor: 96/100

Dennis Kucinich

I honestly don’t really know anything about Kucinich or his political stances because politics is a joke without a punchline that’s not funny. So basically, politics are like Family Guy. The one thing I do know about Kucinich, I learned while watching the Colbert Report, which puts the punchline back into politics. Apparently, Dennis Kucinich always carries around a pocket-sized copy of the constitution. I approve 100%! I think that everyone should carry one too! That way, we’ll always have something to blow our noses with to slow the spread of swine fl- sorry, “Aych One Enn One.”

Hit Points: 24/100

Intelligence: 88/100

Flavor: -8/100

Dennis Nedry

Nedry’s a pretty rad guy, backstabbing notwithstanding. For one, he helps the little girl in the film give a good name for “hackers.” He adds to her contribution of “whiney, screamy, annoying little cuss” his own fair share of “overweight, socially retarded douche-bag.”

Hit Points: 112/100

Intelligence: 1/100

Flavor: -48/100

Dennis Quaid

I’m running out of Dennises.

Hit Points: Gopher

Intelligence: Fairly Balmy

Flavor: Teal

Winner:

With a score of 211, DENIS LEARY wins this year’s Hall of Dennis Awards! Be sure to see next year’s ceremony for essentially the same thing!

Written by Drew Wellman

09/22/2009 at 4:36 PM

Posted in Everything

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AN ODE TO: The Passenger Guy from The Dark Knight

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Lot’s of movies have cliché in them. Let’s face it, almost all movies contain a bit of it in some way or another. Most of them just make me cringe like the action movie staple, “I didn’t sign up for this.” Incidentally, the dude to whom I’m presenting an ode is the one who utters this phrase in the otherwise original and kick-ass Dark Knight. What’s great about Passenger Guy is that instead of conversing normally with trite phrases thrown here and there, he talks like an NPC in Call of Duty before the series got awesome.

In case you haven’t seen The Dark Knight, what’s your problem? Go see it now. If you’re stubborn, I’ll warn you anyway that there are some minor spoilers ahead and throughout this little ode. Anyway, Passenger Guy, or as he is identified on IMDb, “Convoy Leader.” This is an ironic title, since the entirety of his existence in this film is sitting on his lazy bum chatting it up with Lt. Gordon, who appears to be channeling my good buddy Gordon Freeman in that, for this section, he never talks.

This is one reason why Passenger Guy reminds me so much of a video game NPC. He constantly talks at Gordon without taking the slightest offense that he is being completely ignored. Nevertheless, he keeps running his hilarious little mouth, asking stupid questions and telling Gordon things that even a Jonas Brothers fan could figure out. “That’s not good,” he says as a helicopter crashes and explodes in front of them.

Some of his other genius quotations for your sampling…

“Lower fifth? We’ll be like turkeys on Thanksgiving down there!”

“What the hell was that?”

“What is that, a bazooka?”

“We gotta get topside, we need air support now!

“That’s what I’m talking about!”

“You can’t stop here, we’re like sitting ducks!”

Sitting ducks. Yes, sitting ducks. Compare these with your standard friendly AI quips in video games like Halo, Medal of Honor, and other games where the voice actors sound like they were just handed their script and all it said was “Generic cop/military dialog.” Nevertheless, PG is probably my seventh or eighth favorite character in the film. Compared to Little Son of Gordon, who also embodies cliché, PG reminds me of hilarious video game NPC’s rather than poorly written straight-to-video movies about dolphins and ponies and divorce. It’s hilariously to imagine PG’s sequence as a video game and the rest of the film as bookending cinematics.

So that’s Passenger Guy, a shining example of a useless idiot with a mouthful who you can’t help but love anyway.

Written by Drew Wellman

06/15/2009 at 10:53 AM

Posted in Everything

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