Rooster Teeth brings funny live video game event to Valley theaters

Geoff Ramsey, founder of Rooster Teeth, during a Let’s Play Live performance earlier this year.
Geoff Ramsey, founder of Rooster Teeth, during a Let’s Play Live performance earlier this year. Fathom Events

One of the first YouTube channels formed to create hilarious video-game-related content is taking its show to a New York Comic Con stage Saturday, Oct. 8, and a simultaneous broadcast will bring it to local theaters.

Web personalities from Rooster Teeth, the 13-year-old company behind web series hits “Red Vs. Blue” and “Achievement Hunter,” hope to entertain thousands by playing video games and offering their patented improvisational comedy. Rooster Teeth founder Geoff Ramsey has been organizing these events for about a year, but this will be the first time the event will be broadcast live in 240 movie theaters throughout the country through a partnership with Fathom Events. It will play locally at Regal Edwards Fresno Stadium 22, Cinemark Movies 8 Hanford and Regal Hollywood Merced 13.

Ramsey plans to lead his troops from the front.

“Let’s Play Live is the new-media equivalent of a concert or sporting event,” Ramsey says in an interview. “We re-create the content that we’re known online for – playing video games in a hopefully humorous manner.”

Members of the Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, and Cow Chop franchises, as well as special guests, will join Ramsey on stage for the three-hour show. The crew has pulled off the live show at some impressive locations in the last year: the Chicago Theatre, the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and a hometown show at Austin City Limits.

“All venues way too important to allow us to participate in any shenanigans,” Ramsey says.

The lineup of games to be played is going to be a surprise, but it’s sure to include multiplayer favorites such as the unpredictably hilarious Worms franchise. If you’ve never seen a Let’s Play video, it is perhaps best explained as a handful of gamers gathering to play one title together and offer witty reactions as the game progresses.

8,768,177The number of subscribers to the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel as of Oct. 3.

For the most part, the shows have gone off without a hitch. But the show relies considerably on technology. The cast will sit at six gaming stations with 20 flat-screen TVs in front of them. If one of these machines fails, it will likely stall the show. The performance itself is completely unscripted so as to closely resemble the Let’s Play experience popularized by dozens of YouTubers.

The New York performance is also incorporating a live broadcast element with live camera switching, which Ramsey likens to watching a major sports broadcast.

“It’s the nerdiest way you can fly without a wire,” Ramsey says. “It’s a little terrifying. We have entire days at Rooster Teeth where we are waylaid by tech problems, or we fry our power and lose four hours of footage.”

He continues: “The performance is easy. The tech is beyond stressful.”

Ramsey, as big an A-lister as there is in video game content, says the live experience is totally different audience experience than watching a Let’s Play or Rooster Teeth video at home.

“The energy of the room – I understand why rock stars become rock stars,” he says.

Ramsey would know – in a past life, he was a roadie in the Austin music scene.

“Now I get the beer for free, and I don’t have to do the load ins and load outs,” Ramsey says with a laugh. “It’s much more fun to be on the other side.”