Cyber sports, swarming fans and gamer girls - welcome to the world of Jarett Cale, co-producer, co-director and actor in the cult hit series Pure Pwnage.
Since its accidental inception in 2004, the online mockumentary has proven to be tremendously popular with gamers and non-gamers alike. Its first season, which concluded in November last year, consisted of 12 episodes and was released with subtitles in 30 languages. Season 2 is expected to be released in April this year.
The show's burgeoning online forum is now boasting well over 30,000 members, and that's only a small portion of its loyal fan base. One download source has clocked almost 90,000 downloads of the first episode alone, but as the episode is also hosted on several other Web sites, this can only be a modest indication of the total number of people who have seen the show.
Although he refuses to give away any of his gaming strategies, Cale speaks with Liz Tay about the show, his gaming preferences, his life in the real world, as well as being pro-gamer Jeremy.
What are you and co-producer Geoff Lapaire like in real life?
We're much calmer than our Pure Pwnage counterparts. Geoff's [who plays Jeremy's brother, Kyle] always been a huge fan of filmmaking and I've always been obsessed with playing video games, and of course we each share a passion for both or we probably wouldn't be where we are!
As for our jobs/hobbies, well, Pure Pwnage is our job and a more than full-time one at that! We've been very fortunate with the show's success and it's given us the opportunity to work full-time in a field we'd have never dreamed we could just a few years ago. Our hobbies before Pure Pwnage were making fun videos with friends and playing games, and now that the video part became our job, I'd say our hobbies are playing games :)
For how long have you been working full-time on Pure Pwnage? Do you ever suspect that your on-screen persona is taking over your life?
We've been working full-time on Pure Pwnage for two years now, and it's gone by amazingly quick! I've no worries about Jeremy taking over my life, but my girlfriend claims to have noticed a few idiosyncratic changes. I think she's just a big n00b though, lol.
What is a 'pro-gamer'? Do you guys consider yourselves pro-gamers?
A 'pro' gamer by most standards means someone who makes their living competing in video game tournaments, of which there are surprisingly many who do.
This term has also been adopted by many gaming communities to simply mean the best players of that particular game, which is the sense in which Jeremy uses the term. The joke being that many gamers like to fantasize about being 'pro', call themselves 'pro', but they don't actually make any money.
When Pure Pwnage started, Geoff and I were really into a game called Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour which had a lot of the latter type of 'pros'. As for being 'pros' ourselves - certainly not in the literal, money-making sense, but absolutely in the sense that the Zero Hour community used the term!