Pals for Life
Hello all! Leeroy Jenkins and the Pals for Life visited The Art Institute of Colorado on Monday Night, October 16, 2017. For those of you who may not know of Leeroy Jenkins and The Pals for Life, they are a group of game players in the World of Warcraft community. Their original video, titled “A Rough Go,” made Leeroy and The Pals for Life internet sensations that inadvertently started the video game streaming revolution that we see now on YouTube and Twitch. Ben Schulz, better known as Leeroy, was the “figurehead” of the group. The impression he made in the online gaming community left a fingerprint that can still be felt today.
The panel discussion was not all about Leeroy and his claim to fame. It was interesting to see the other panel members (The Pals for Life) give their thoughts on how the video took the internet by storm in 2004. They had no idea their video would become such a sensation and, inevitably, a cult classic in the gaming community. All panel members discussed the frustrations they faced after the video went viral. They expressed that other players would want to join their guild, but not take it seriously. The group also told the audience how they wanted to become a more serious group of players, but were instead identified as the jokesters of the World of Warcraft community. It wasn’t all negative, though. All expressed their joys of gaming and the how the world of video games is a way of life.
All members expressed how they view the current state of World of Warcraft today compared to when they played and published their video. They stated that it is two-edge sword in that in some aspects they thoroughly enjoy, but at the same time, some of the older mechanics and game play were better. Older mechanics centered around weapons and armor, and possessing certain game specific items made them identifiable in the community. Nowadays, it is a little easier to claim such items through pay to play, or a dumbed down version of the same weapon or armor piece.
Towards the end of the night, all of the panel members admitted they no longer play World of Warcraft as much as they did when they were younger. This, despite that they were internet sensations and still are in some respect, has now made them become casual gamers. Today, they have other priorities such as loved ones, young ones, jobs, and careers they need to consider. One thing’s for certain though—they have immortalized themselves into the gaming community and pop culture. In looking back at the events of the night and the topics that were discussed, I came away with this—“Things will always change in life. Whether they be good or bad, you can always guarantee life will be different from one day to the next.”
Illustration by BA Game Art & Design student Rhett Allen
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