I had the esteemed pleasure of actually getting a voice interview with THE Geoff Ramsey, and his Daughter, Millie, of Rooster Teeth! In all my time of writing, I never thought once that I would ever have the possibility to be talking with one of the most influential men in the Youtube/Gaming scene, or his daughter, for that matter. Rooster Teeth has a brand-new show coming out called Schooled, a more family-friendly show where Geoff has brought together a team of kids ranging from 8-12 years old to face off against the RT crew. The rules are simple, he must train them in the ways of the gaming force, and ensure that they beat the RT crew… or he has to get Gavin Free’s nose tattooed on his leg (1:1) scale, mind you. We had a good amount of things to talk about, some related to the show, and some more relative to the father-daughter duo who want to shake up the perceptions of gaming by parents! Without further pause, the following was my interview with Geoff and Millie.
EB: So can you give us a quick rundown of what exactly this new show Schooled is about?
Geoff: Yeah! So, Schooled is an online show, a partnership between Rooster Teeth and AT&T Hello Lab, where I, well, unfortunately this coincides with a bet I made with my employees. Rooster Teeth is a company, and Achievement Hunter is an offshoot of that where myself and a bunch of obnoxious mid-20 year olds play videogames for a living. And I had a bet with my employees where I could recruit a team of 10 and 11 year-olds, kids essentially my daughter’s age and have them compete against my employees in a game of choice. Of course, I bet that the team of kids would be able to beat them in that game of choice, and that somehow turned into this show! So Schooled is centered around my daughter, Millie, and I train this team of 10-year-olds to become professional gamers, and compete against the AH guys. The winner is that if I win, I get bragging rights, and if I lose, I have to get a tattoo of one of my employee’s noses on my leg. One of the guys that I work with has a giant nose, sort of one of his defining features, and so if I lose, I have to get a full-scale tattoo of that on my leg.
EB: Wow, okay, so if you win, you get to say “Ah-ha, I win!”, but if they win, you have to get a nose tattooed on your leg.
Geoff: Yeah, when you say it like that, I feel like I might be getting the short end of the stick on this but essentially yes, that is indeed the breakdown of it all.
EB: Well I wish you luck with that, sir. Now, you mentioned that you were going to be training these kids in all kinds of different games. Are there a bunch of games that we can expect to see you all playing, or is this just going to be one particular game that’s going to be played?
Geoff: So, given the nature of the show and how it’s supposed to be family-friendly, we had to be careful about what game we picked. The game we ended up picking is a game called Ultimate Chicken Horse, which my guys are already pretty familiar with, and the way the dev described the game to me, which was pretty fitting, is that it’s like a combination of a game of Chicken, and a game of Horse. If you’ve played basketball, you’ve probably played horse, and if you’ve ever had two people run at each other, you’ve played chicken, so it’s like a combo of those two.
EB: Yeah, I was curious, because you guys have such a history with Halo, but that’s not exactly a family-friendly game, I suppose, especially for little kids.
Geoff: Yeah, unfortunately, a lot of the games available to do this kind of thing are not exactly family friendly, so we settled on Ultimate Chicken Horse. Not just because it’s family friendly, but because it will also give us many opportunities for things to do on the show!
EB: So, it’s the team of kids that you picked, versus you said guys from AH, for fans of you guys, who is the team that the kids are going to go against?
Geoff: From Achievement Hunter, it’s going to be Gavin (the Nose), and then Michael, Ryan, and Jack, my four oldest employees.
EB: So it’s pretty much gonna be the Achievement Hunter All-Stars versus the next generations of pro gamers.
Geoff: Essentially yes, it’s going to be the New Hotness versus the Older Hotness.
EB: So I know you said earlier that you were going to be the one training the kids, though I did read in the e-mail about this that the kids were going to be professionally trained, are we going to be seeing some guest MLG talent on the show?
Geoff: Well, I don’t want to give away too much of the show, but Millie will be training them as well, and I will sort of be the adult, grizzled, Bad News Bears coaching style. Millie has the friendlier “I’m your age, I can identify with you” coaching style, and we did bring in some other individuals to help train as well. I will at least say that the people that we did bring in to help are luminaries in their respective fields.
EB: I do have a question, more of a personal one for you as a father-daughter duo. It’s fall season now and all of the big games are starting to roll out, are there any big games that you guys are playing together right now when you kind of have time together for bonding?
Geoff: Millie, I think you can answer this one, what’s the game that we play together all the time right now?
Millie: The Walking Dead.
Geoff: No, no, what’ the game that we play together right now?
Millie: Ohh, Overwatch.
Geoff: Yeah, Overwatch is the game that we play together when we have time, and she is much, much better than I am, by far, on every level.
EB: Yeah, you know I was always wondering if the kids that completely skunk me in Overwatch were really 10 years old or if they just said that stuff to trigger me and my friends.
Geoff: Yes, unfortunately I think that they may actually be 10 and 11 years old, my daughter is level 85 and I’m level 40, and she wipes the map with me every chance she gets, and I do this for a living, and she does it on a whim.
EB: Is there anything that you really want to say about this show, like a message that you really want to send to people?
Geoff: Yeah, absolutely, we were actually talking about this, we kind of got this idea in the focus of show. Video games have historically, and I know this is kind of melting away every day, have had this stigma of being something only for people who are antisocial, looking for something to do in their mom’s basement, and who like never go outside. Like those people never see the outside world, and live in these closed-off environments, and don’t get enough like real-world experience. Millie and I, as a way of bonding, play video games together, it’s something that we socially do together. We wanted to point out that videogames aren’t all violent, they’re not all Call of Duty, they aren’t all about killing terrorists or each other. They can be really fun and creative, like the game that we picked for Schooled, Ultimate Chicken Wars. They promote problem solving skills, ingenuity, and discussion, and they’re really great bonding ways for parents and kids. This is like the new way of playing Clue together or reading a book together, because videogames promote a way of interaction that just isn’t possible with those other mediums. It’s so much different than say, it used to be, I mean, I’m 41, and a lot of other people my age, parents from Millie’s school, kind of have a fear of video games, or think of them as all being, say, GTA, or Call of Duty. I wanna promote the idea that games are a family-friendly way to bond with your kids and that they provide so many different ways of thinking and working together. Games have grown a lot, and there’s a lot of really smart, fun video games out there for people to play individually and in groups alike.
EB: Yeah, I think that, in the last few years there have been a handful of really important games like Minecraft that aren’t just about a singular objective, but rather, about creating things. They’re about learning how to do a multitude of things, things like using redstone in the game is akin to programming, which is a crazy useful skill in 2016!
Geoff: Absolutely! It’s funny that you say that, Millie has her own Minecraft server, and I kind of expect that in maybe like 25 years from now, there will not be an architect under the age of 40, that didn’t get their start in Minecraft. It’s a great way to spend your relaxing time, and TV, now, I’m not one to poopoo on TV because I get a kick out of watching my shows and stuff, but they videogames stimulate you in a way that you just don’t get by watching something. They train your brain, they keep up your hand-eye coordination, your problem-solving skills, and it’s just a much more interactive way to unwind and relax.
EB: Shamefully enough, I haven’t watched much RT the last two years, but I did recently go back and realized just how huge you guys really are, I guess I just never thought about it before. you’ve amassed 25 million subscribers, do you ever think about how many times a day that someone watches one of your videos? Not only that, but how many people see that and then go out and create their own thing because they we inspired by you to make their own Let’s Play or Podcast, or anything like that?
Geoff: It, yeah, it’s a pretty humbling thing to think about, especially because our company actually predates Youtube by a couple years. It’s hard to put a figure on it, because it’s hard to really just think about that at all. We were extremely lucky that we had already been viewed and shared millions of times before Youtube even started. The Youtube phenomenon took off, and it’s really awesome that so many people are able to consume and digest the things that we make. It’s cool that we reach out to so many people across so many demographics and I kind of hope that we continue to do that and just always reach more and more people, Millie, what do you think?
Millie: Well, you know, I don’t really watch your content.
Geoff: Ah, yes, Millie is a fan of all Youtube content, except for her dad’s, of course.
Millie: I don’t really know, I mean, I guess that you’re a growing channel.
Geoff: Well, I hope so! Are the kids in your school familiar with Rooster Teeth?
Millie: I mean, there’s one or two, I don’t really know, not a lot, I don’t think.
Geoff: Do you think that the kids in your school will watch Schooled?
Millie: I really don’t know because I don’t know many people into RT.
Geoff: Do you think that you would tell them about it? Or would it be weird to be like “Hey, I’m in this show, wanna check it out?” Would you want a bunch of people to know about it?
Millie: I don’t really know, I think that might be weird!
Geoff: True, true, it could be a little weird.
EB: So this is going to be a show, right? Like episodic, it’s not going to be one long video, something we can tune into every week?
Geoff: So the show launches on October 3rd, and they’re shooting for 8 or 9 episodes, every monday and wednesday, starting October 3rd, and the average length will be about 4 to 6 minutes, and they want the last episode to air on Halloween, I think. That’s when the final episode should be out.
EB: So it’ll be about the same length as the usual Achievement Hunter live-action stuff that you guys do, and it’ll be free to watch, on the channel, correct?
Geoff: Yes! It’ll be about the same length, give or take, super family-friendly stuff, unlike the rest of the content that we usually put out on the AH channel. Hopefully people will really like the show, I mean the kids are all really endearing and lovely and I’m easily the worst part of the show.
Millie: Yeah, you’re a pretty bad coach.
EB: So we’re about to wrap up here, I know you guys are on a tight schedule, is there anything else that you can throw in there at the end that we haven’t covered?
Geoff: Sure, Millie, I’ll give this to you!
Millie: Oh okay, I don’t have anything.
Geoff: Alright, that was good, back to me, then. Just hopefully parents and kids will really like this show and will watch it together and kind of be inspired. If we get some parents and their kids to start playing video games together, I think that would be awesome.
EB: I think that would rock, I know that for me, personally, I haven’t really had much time in my life where I got to play video games with my parents, granted, they come from a time where video games weren’t really a thing, so it’s kind of understandable.
Geoff: Yes, trust me, I rub it in my Mom’s face all the time that I’ve made a successful living playing video games for a living.
EB: I think that many of us aspire to one day be able to do that. Alright well I will let you two go, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me, it was great to meet you both!
Geoff & Millie: You too, bye!
It was fantastic talking to these two, their new show, Schooled comes out today October 3rd on YouTube, and the first episode is now available after the break.
ABOUT AT&T Hello Lab:
Schooled is part of AT&T Hello Lab — a breakthrough program from AT&T that features 10 digital creators at the forefront of mobile entertainment and empowers them to engage more deeply with their audience. AT&T Hello Lab has already debuted four series since announcing the project this year. Damon and Jo’s Dare to Travel, a YouTube travel series sourcing dares from fans across multiple social platforms; Make My Monday, a Snapchat series starring Snapchat Superstar Shonduras executing fan challenges in real time; Writing With Grace, the first ever celebrity fan collaboration on Wattpad with video star Grace Helbig, who’s live reading of Writing With Grace resulted in the largest live reading ever hosted at VidCon; and ONTheLINE, the first ever sports series on Instagram with comedian and former professional basketball player Brandon Armstrong have pushed what’s possible on every digital-social-platform. It’s the new frontier of entertainment.
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