It all started with a question, some 15 years ago, “You ever wonder why we’re here?” That was the opening line of Red vs. Blue Season 1, Episode 1. My friend, Daniel had showed it to me the week it came out and I have been watching Rooster Teeth content ever since. For 15 years, I have been a member of a community that is unique, passionate, and the most incredible thing I have ever seen — a community that gives.
I have been in chats, been stopped on the street, talked with friends, and even attend RTX, the Rooster Teeth convention held annually in Austin, TX. I have met people from all walks of life that I don’t think I would of had any way of meeting previously. I have talked to military personal, police officers, married, single, straight, gay, working, not working, with kids, without kids, kids, and everything in between. There was one thing that we had in common — love for Rooster Teeth content. Red vs Blue, RWBY, Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, and the other myriad of shows, personalities, and talent that this company has produced. Then something amazing happened, a company that played video games and made YouTube content asked for donations for a charity.
Extra Life is a charity that gives money that is raised to children’s hospitals around the country for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Gamer’s across the country play games and collect donations for the charity. Then a few years ago, Rooster Teeth started doing a live-stream online collecting donations. Each year, they ask their community to give to the kids. They plan fun things, crazy games, cool prizes, and even a Wheel of Vengeance that gets spun each time a person donates $1,337 or more. For 24 hours Rooster Teeth, led by Jack Pattillo, his wife Caiti, and Chad James), put it all out there and asked its community to be part of something bigger, for something better.
Starting at 8:00 am on Saturday, November 10th and ending Sunday 8:00 am on Sunday, November 11th, they streamed. They ran things over with a steam roller,
they ate hot and spicy nuts, took punches with something called Taze Fist (think brass knuckles with a tazer on the end),
, played Harry Potter trivia,
sat on the Pummel Horse (a painful invention that is hilarious, but looks horrible), got pelted with paint balls and Moon Balls,
were completely inappropriate at times, painted from a Bob Ross episode,
did Whose Line Is It Anyways games, played video games,
laughed, and went above and beyond for one goal: raise money for children’s hospitals. I watched from 8:00 am to about 1 am (with considerable breaks) to wake up this morning to get ready for church. Checking the total and watching the last few minutes, where Jack gives a speech to close it out and Matt Hullum, CEO of Rooster Teeth, sings a final song, I was astonished. In 24 hours, a community of people all over the world, from all different walks of life, in different parts of their path of life, every race, religion, sexuality, and status came together and raised $1.4 million dollars.
How incredible when you look beyond yourself and the parts of your life and the things that sometime keep you focused on just what is around you to see the bigger picture. How amazing when you find yourself part of a group that is bigger in size, bigger in generosity, and bigger in fun than what is physically around you. How crazy to know that every dollar given, by every person goes into a sum of $1.4 million that will benefit children who are struggling during difficult times of physical and mental illness.
In the end, it is pride that I am left with today. I watch the videos and movies. I buy the merch. I go to the conventions. And that is all well and good. But what truly makes this special, what truly makes it where I keep watching, buying, and attending is the fact that this company gives back and does so buy bringing in a community of people to participate to give as well.
So thank you Rooster Teeth for all of the content, the laughs, but giving me the chance to be part of something bigger than myself. Thank you community for stepping up and being supportive and doing something astounding, raising $1.4 million dollars for Extra Life and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and always #RTExtraLife.