As I mentioned in my Ready Player Two! post, I’m a huge fan of local co-op. No matter how Microsoft tries to push the benefits of online multiplayer it will never take the place of playing a game with friends in the same room and experiencing actual social interaction.
In what I consider to be my spur of the moment “Days before Christmas” series I thought I’d cover one of my favorite webseries, Co-optitude.
When Geek and Sundry first launched I immediately became addicted to Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop and Felicia’s The Flog. One of my favorite early Flogs was her playing Streets of Rage on the Genesis with her brother, Ryon. The series was one of my favorite retro series and watching the two of them play it proved to be tremendously entertaining.
From the early Flog plays, including Gunstar Heroes, Battletoads, and Golden Axe they launched their own webseries Co-Optitude where…yep they play video games and hilarity ensues.
Over Thanksgiving I had a Fallout 4/Co-Optitude binge and realized just how great the series is.
In a world where everyone has a let’s play channel on YouTube what makes Co-Optitude stand out?
- Felicia Day: I mentioned in my review of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) that Felicia is one of those rare people you feel you know when you watch her in her videos or in her interviews. This is never truer than watching her interact with her brother. The laughter, the rage, the creativity shown in the insults and profanity used in the show are absolutely genuine. Sure, there are scripted moments, but even in those you can tell they enjoy making these shows and how much fun they are having.
- Ryon Day: Anyone who thought Felicia may have been born out of some kind of magical internet realm, Ryon Day proves that whatever circumstances made Felicia into the charming, smart, strange person she is also factored into the creation of her brother. Ryon is every bit as funny as his sister and also is a great internet personality in his own right. Watching the two of them snipe at each other, compete in one and two player games, trade barbs, and demonstrate their game playing acumen (or lack thereof) is endlessly entertaining. As much as I love Felicia, I have to admit Ryon ends up with the catch phrases and some of the most memorable moments in the show. And speaking of catch phrases…
- Catch Phrases/Quotes: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a web show develop more on-the-fly catch phrases as this one. There’s the now iconic (used correctly, Jim Sterling) “Let’s play this f*cker,” but there have also been others, “We’re Gucci” (Meaning “we’re good,” though they couldn’t remember where it came from), the poorly conceived, “We didn’t get far but we got…fun,” and one that may be common but I’d never heard it before, “Oh they know about you” (usually combined with some insulting reference). There’s the terrific sign off, “Don’t forget to Sh-Like-ubscribe” or “Like, share, and subscribe” crammed into one portmanteau. Who doesn’t like giving beloved, classic video game characters silly names, “Anuss, Poopy, Nypps, Smegz, Nutsaq, and Taintiez?” Not only that but random sing-a-longs (Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is a favorite) make frequent appearances.
- Bad Game Play: For some reason watching people pick up and play a game, especially classic games, with no experience and no pre-knowledge of the game is vastly amusing. It’s essentially the way we used to play games when we got them. No one read the books. We just jumped in and tried them out. Made dumb mistakes, argued with our friends and family who played, blamed the game for our poor abilities. We did all of it in our own homes not on the internet. It takes some guts (“Nickelodeon” Guts even) to be a bit buffoonish on the internet, especially playing Mario, Sonic, Pokémon, and Final Fantasy games, series with rabid fan bases. Even as much as I love some of the series, watching Felicia and Ryon play FFVII and name their characters Poopy Esq, Anuss II, and Tantiez is damn funny.
- Hector and Jess: This summer when Felicia was doing her book tour and Ryon was changing jobs the Geek and Sundry Twitch team took over Co-Optitude for about two months. The Felicia and Ryon show has a unique feel. The Hector and Jess shows have a unique feel of their own, but one that was no less hilarious and entertaining. Watching them play through Catherine (it’s a weird game that I LOVE. I have the special edition with the odd polka dot boxers…) or even better Sherlock Holmes, made for a great time. I wouldn’t mind a permanent Co-Optitude spin off series with these two.
Co-Optitude has joined Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition, Cinemassacre’s Angry Video Game Nerd, and another show I’m saving for my next “Days Before Christmas” post as my favorite web playlists. They’re hilarious, genuine, fun-in-spirit, and are always good for a much-needed laugh.
Feeling a bit down from seasonal depression? Watch some Co-Optitude and a couple of Days will definitely improve your day.