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…
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.
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,