Moving On and Growing Up

Ready Up Live. The name means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. As we move onto bigger and better things and become part of ReadyUp, the team behind Ready Up Live wanted to share their experiences over the last ten years and say a fond farewell to the RUL chapter of this wonderful community…


Paul (Soterios)

Hey nerds. I’ll do my best to keep this brief. (I’m going to fail) I’m sure I could write a small library of novels on Ready Up Live and its members if I tried. After the population drop of Halo : Reach, I remember feeling very lost online. None of my local friends played anymore. None of my random online warriors showed up online either. There was, however, a YouTube channel that I had seen before. It was just some wacky Rube Goldberg machines in Halo 3’s Forge mode, but they were still playing Halo. This group was having a community day, whatever that was, so I showed up. I played hours of Halo reach with a bunch of strangers from the internet. I laughed a lot. I got splattered a lot. I had a blast. I only remember a few of the games and even less of the particular people, but two interactions did stick out. Drax didn’t accept my friend request. (Dustin, pls.) Kathanis, on the other hand, did. Austin and I played quite often after that, along with a lot of other site members and staff. I joined the forums. I added more members to my friends list. I played more games, again.

Eventually, I joined the staff. Just moderating. Looking back, though, joining the staff wasn’t about working for the site. It was about investing myself in that group of people. All of them. Even Wagwan. (Hi Wagwan) In the following years, people came and went. Titles changed. The site grew and evolved. I met more people. I made more friends. Ready Up Live became part of my life. They became a part of my family. I flew to Seattle to hang out with strangers from the internet. (Sorry, mom) No one stole my liver though. I had one of the best vacations of my life. I met all the best people. I sweat my ass off in Vic’s apartment. I met my favorite Halo pro. (And maybe fangirled a bit much. Sorry Eric) I drank moonshine out of a jug. I high fived a lot of people. I blamed a lot of Rebel. I hugged a very sweaty Chewy. These relationships changed my life. They changed me. They’ve stuck with me.

If you didn’t know, I got married in April. I had a destination wedding in Hawaii. It was far away and expensive and a pain in the ass, but some of the weird internet people showed up. None of these people live remotely close to me. I only see them online, or on my occasional travels. (Like when Spilly and Noble come stay in their room at my house) They were there. (Even Drax, the jerk) I would have invited everyone if I could have afforded it. Maybe I’m overly sentimental, but that’s completely incredible to me. I have selfies from my wedding with Rukizzel, a guy I met at a party in Seattle five years ago (His party, actually. The party I plan to go to every year until I die. You’re on the hook for that, homie.) Start a Riot is coming to visit again in a few days. She’s little, but she’s now one of my best friends. I owe a lot to Greenskull. If he hadn’t smacked a golf ball across a map in a video game, my life would be pretty different right now.

You all matter so much to me. No matter where this community goes, I am forever grateful for my time in it, and I will always look forward to my future in it. See you guys online.

Paul (Soterios)


Ty (Zerty)

This post marks the 337th and final post I will make on this front page. It’s not a special number, but the fuel for this post makes it possibly the most meaningful writing I will have done on RUL.

I found RUL in the Autumn of 2012, during the final hype phase for Halo 4. I had been aware of Greenskull’s contributions to the community through his adventures making Green’s Machines in Halo: Reach, but that was it. I like to think it was destiny that I would join RUL – I watched a simple Halo 4 News video on YouTube and he mentioned the forum and recommended joining up. There was no reason for me to do so as at the time I was very self-contained, I was scared and frankly skeptical of the whole “forum community” concept, but for some reason I broke character and joined up

Immediately I was in the chatbox, seeing wonderful warm welcomes from the community and delighted to see welcome messages on my intro post within hours. I still remember within weeks of joining, being so in love with the community, asking if there was any way I could help, and after I’m sure several irritating DMs and forum posts, Jess (Start a Riot) responded and frankly told me to pipe down and continue being a good little member of the forums. Despite my disappointment she still came across so warm and friendly and I remained a regular visitor to the site, daily first order of business after getting home from college.

Game nights were a blast and I still have footage I recorded from the 5th Anniversary game night amongst others. I remember my excitement to play with the RUL community as I kept my family awake gone midnight as I chatted in the games, firmly celebrating my allegiance to Team Greenskull as we took on Team Minolta in a “pre-make” of Adrift. All-too-short years of game nights, chatbox slap wars, Google hangouts (remember those?), April Fool dictatorial takeovers of the site and more passed and I eventually joined the staff team writing content where I have remained since. I was finally able to give something back to the people I now called family and that was amazing, but I couldn’t predict where it would lead me.

 

Friends, family and work colleagues don’t often “get” how this works because they haven’t lived it, and I doubt many have been privileged enough to live through a community era like the last few years at RUL. I talk to my distance friends often more than my local ones, so much so that I consider many of them an extended family. I have known some of the RUL community longer than some of my closest local friends, and it feels like far more than 6 years. I travelled alone out of the continent for the first time ever to meet some of these people in Seattle without a single worry in my head. I knew that once I got there I could rely on these people to make sure I was fine, and they did far more – they made me feel at home, that I belonged. We attended events with people I didn’t even dream of meeting, chatted with incredible community leaders and game producers and learned a lot about myself.

Most importantly, we had a good time. I felt changed as a person in that week. I lead into awkward first meets with a handshake and was dragged into a hug without a moment’s hesitation. I stroked Dylan (Noble)’s beard. Found weird selfies I don’t remember taking walking back from the RUL party drunk and alone at 3am. Went to a real arcade for the first time and did so well I’m sure the machine was broken. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and one I hope to repeat for many years, and it’s also exactly how the last 5 years has felt online. I’ve found a new passion as a writer, considered careers I never thought possible and forged bonds I’ll never break. I basically walked into an online house party and came out with mentors I’ll always be able to consult in times of decision, friends who get and share my weird geeky obsessions, my beautiful lady friend of 3 years who never lets me down, a family who understand my life’s journey because they’ve lived it too: a whole world of people I’m beyond privileged to know.

Thank you Ready Up Live. As this chapter of the community closes I find myself getting very emotional in equal parts sadness for the end of an era, but excitement for the future of what my little group of internet friends is about to grow up into. Either way, I’m buckled in and ready to go.

Love you all,

Ty


Carr (Foundation Afro)

I started at Ready Up Live back in 2012. These were the days of Full Halo 4 Hype, and I first discovered Greenskull through his YouTube videos on the subject. It was also the fifth year of RUL, and the forum was getting a lot of attention. So, I joined. I had been part of a forum for a while up to that point, for a Facebook game called Starfleet Commander that I was briefly addicted to, but that’s about all it was, a forum for that game. Sure, we talked about some other stuff, but it wasn’t a whole lot. I never became interested in the people there, and at no point had a desire to meet them in real life. RUL was completely different.

Ready Up Live has always been pretty big on the Halo, but it’s never been a Halo community. Instead, it’s always just been a community where people happen to talk a lot about Halo, plus a lot of other things. Sure, it’s always been the Friendliest Gaming Community On the Web (fun fact: it was still “Xbox Community” when I joined), but if it had been just as friendly and super Halo-orientated, I’m not sure I’d be here today. I might still be around, I still love Halo, but I don’t know if I ever would have become staff, or more importantly, made so many friends. There were always loads of forum posts about all kinds of things, and sometimes even nothing. It was a great place to just talk and talk and talk, and that’s a great way to make friends. Throw in the chatbox, better known as the Awesomebox©, and it wasn’t all that long before I knew all the goofballs at that wonderful site.

Not long after that, I started a YouTube channel of my own to do reviews, and just have some fun. I’d always like doing reviews, and talking to people about things at RUL was what I needed to take things to the next level. It…wasn’t great. I am/was an okay actor (I haven’t acted in about eight years), and like to think I’m a good writer and reviewer, but those things didn’t really translate into sitting in front of a camera and talking. In 2015, I decided to start writing my reviews at the same place that made me want to do them in the first place. I wrote some reviews/opinion pieces, some news that the staff wasn’t going to do, and even a post on how to start a good forum article. I think that one of is one of my favourite things that I’ve written, coming from a love of the forum and want for others to be more confident writing in it. I continued to write more articles in the form of forum posts, and in February of 2016, started writing for Ready Up Live as an actual staff member. It was an amazing experience, this place that I loved suddenly gave me the opportunity to go another step with my writing. I went to PAX with a press pass that year, and man was it crazy. But still, it was loads of fun, and like my hiring, let me learn a lot that I might otherwise never have gotten the chance to learn. It’s amazing what can happen in only four years!

But enough about myself. I said this earlier, but it bears repeating. Ready Up Live was always an amazing place to make friends. I’ve made so many lasting friends because of RUL, and I always look forward to being with them. These are not just internet friends. Even if I’d never actually met them in real life, they wouldn’t just be internet friends. They’re real friends that I met on the internet. There are those out there that might scoff at that, and I feel a bit bad for them. The internet is a great place that has really expanded since its inception, and all the 90s sitcom jokes of nerds putting on Vulcan ears to chat with other nerds are really outdated. The internet has expanded into a place where you can join communities like RUL and make real friends, and I find that outstanding. “The Friendliest Gaming Community on the Web” is a great name. It’s not the “Nicest Community”, never has been. Being nice to people is one thing, but being friendly, and forging friendships from that friendliness? Well, that’s something else entirely, and I’m glad I found a place where that can happen.

Thank you. Thank you Ready Up Live, and thank you to everyone who’s ever been a part of it. This has always been an amazing community, and I’m so happy that the strong friendships that have come out of it will survive once it’s gone. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m starting to cry now but I need to say it again. Thank you.

Sincerly,

Carr “Foundation Afro” Nyuli


Mat (Mar)

Heck. It’s been such a rollercoaster over these 6 years that I’ve had the absolute joy of partaking in. I find myself sharing the same sentiments as the other fine gentlemen. Everybody that’s come and gone, all of you that are still here; we all made RUL not just friendly, but THE friendliest place on the internet. I had always been moderately shy when it came to talking to complete strangers on the internet, but after finding this absolute unit of a place, I also learned that there are places on said internet that really care, and really help you become who you are. I couldn’t have imagined myself interacting with such a compassionate group of people way back in 2012 when the forums were still hip and groovy.

Like Carr, I found myself writing for Ready Up Live as a content producer in 2016 after probably one of the most difficult interviews I had ever done (I’m not kidding, Josh. You really put the pressure on). It was honestly like a dream come true, writing for such a great bunch of people that truly appreciated the things I had to say, and giving honest, constructive feedback. Later on in 2016, I nearly gave my mother an anxiety attack by traveling 2,275 KM on my own to Seattle to meet some “strangers” and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


Once we started moving into the Discord, I wasn’t completely sure how well it would be received, but I’m glad it picked up as much as it did. Almost 1300 members is pretty ridiculous, and being tasked to coordinate such a community (as the ‘community coordinator’ title entails) was wonderful. I know I probably could’ve organized more game nights and coordinated a little more, but we’ll get there. Promise.

Now here we are, moving house so to speak, into a shiny, brand new look and feel. I can’t thank everybody enough for such amazing experiences from game nights, to PAX, to absolute shenanigans in the Awesomebox/Discord. Let’s keep this reputation going not for just us, but for the rest of the community that joins and eventually sticks around with us. You’re all heckin’ amazing, keep on #BlamingRebel.

Mat


Dustin (Drax)

Where do I even begin? I suppose the best thing to do is tell my RUL story, much like everyone else. In early 2011, I joined a 343 community playdate on Halo: Reach. I got lucky enough to be invited into a match and during the game, I noticed Greenskull’s gamertag. We got to chatting and, after a lot of friendly jabbing and prodding, he finally convinced me sign up on his website. It was only about a week before he realized that I was going to attend PAX East and suddenly, BAM! I was now a part of the Ready Up Live staff. Basically, Greenskull used me to get to bsangel while she was at PAX East. She was 343’s Community Manager and since he couldn’t attend the expo himself, I was sent on a mission. He made me print out a picture of himself, find her after her panel, and get her to take a picture…with his picture. Weirdo.

Since then, I’ve had many roles within the RUL staff, eventually landing on my current job as a Social Media Specialist. Each job has had it’s own unique challenges, but the best part of it has always been the community interaction. Halo is awesome and gaming in general is always fun, but what truly makes RUL so special…is you. I know it sounds sappy, but it’s the truth. I can’t even recall how many times I’ve been in tears from laughing so hard from one of The Soterios’ dumb jokes. How many times Riot camped inside a building in Battlefield, went 40 – 2, and then laughed like a maniac. All the amazing Aftermath videos Ye Olde Apple has created over the years and allowed me to be a part of. The list of incredible memories that Ready Up Live has brought me over the past 7 years is endless.

RUL has become my second family and has also provided me with some of the most wonderful opportunities in my life. If it wasn’t for RUL, I wouldn’t have moved to Seattle nearly a year ago to pursue my dreams of working for 343 or Xbox. I wouldn’t have met The Soterios and been honored to attended his beautiful wedding in Hawaii. I wouldn’t have made some of the closest and most loving friends of my life, without RUL.

RUL was founded as an Xbox and Halo-based community…but it became much more than that. It’s been a beacon of friendliness and fun for gamers of all types and from all platforms. Greenskull created something wonderful that so many people have had the chance to experience and for that, I am beyond grateful. I’m not sure where the road leads from here. I know what’s to come, but how I’ll play a part in it remains to be seen. No matter what happens, Ready Up Live has been a massively important part of my life and has helped to shape it as well. I’ve made friendships and connections that will last me a lifetime. Thanks for putting up with me for this long, RUL!

Dustin “Drax” Dailey


Jeff(Minolta1034)

I walked past a monitor in university and my life changed forever. While I was attending the University of Lethbridge I saw a Spartan with the words “Ready Up Live” written above it on a fellow students computer monitor and decided to do a quick Google search. It was great to find a community built around a game series I loved that wasn’t as massive as some of the more mainstream sites like bungie.net. I made an introduction thread and mentioned how I found the site, since I was new at the U of L finding someone in my classes to play Halo with seemed like a good idea. Little did I know the student in my class wasn’t just another Halo fan, he was the administrator of the site: a goofy kid known online as Greenskull.

One of the earliest photos of Greenskull and I at a party in college

We became fast friends and my contribution to the community began, I took over the technical aspects of the site, began writing blog posts and making Halo news videos for the YouTube channel. While I had originally come to university to get a degree in business, I quickly switched my major to New Media as I began to work harder on creating different types of videos for the internet. However, it was my first trip to PAX, where I met many members of the community in real life, that I realized how special this place truly is.

Prawn Stars

I joined this community on a whim and it has since proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. I have met lifelong friends, had incredible adventures, and learned a lot. It sounds like a cheesy movie line because it kind of is, my experience with RUL has changed me forever in the best possible way. The entire trajectory of my life has shifted due to this place and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Before joining RUL I ran online communities for bands and musicians, so I wanted to leave you with a lyric that I think sums up how I feel:

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”

GG all, see you in the next one.

Jeff “Minolta1034” Wood


We’re not crying, you are.
Thanks for all the laughs, friends and memories, Ready Up Live. We’ll see you all in our new home – Ready Up!