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Machinima Masters Rooster Teeth Cook Up A Real-World Zombie Apocalypse

Machinima Masters Rooster Teeth Cook Up A Real-World Zombie Apocalypse (photo)

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When it comes to Internet success stories, the gaming comedy collective known as Rooster Teeth helped carve out the mold of what it looks like when a bunch of normal guys effing around manage to grow an actual phenomenon. They helped popularize machinima, the practice of using already extant game engines to make all-new content. In the early 90s, machinima got used to make everything from music videos to one-offs that became viral memes. But Rooster Teeth were amongst the first to actually create an ongoing machinima series in the form of “Red Vs. Blue.”

“RvB” chronicled the wayward fates of two opposing squads of Spartan cyberwarriors on the terrain of one of the first “Halo” game’s early multiplayer maps. The bumbling soldiers on Rooster Teeth’s inaugural production captured the hearts of players just as Microsoft’s sci-fi FPS was growing into the phenomenon it’d later become. Most impressively, the dudes at the Austin-based production house were able to break away from the gravitational pull of “Halo,” grow their own community of RT fans and produce other series.

The most recent of these is “Immersion,” which pits commonplace video game tropes up against real-world testing with two hapless gamers as the guinea pigs. The latest episode of “Immersion” takes on two recurring features from the games of today. First is the proliferation of zombies throughout blockbuster video game releases. It’s one thing for franchises like “Resident Evil,” “Left 4 Dead” and “Dead Rising” to throw tons of the undead at you, because they’re all built around that mythos. But, when otherwise realistic series like Activision’s “Call of Duty” games start mining the zombie trend, one can only surmise that they’re trying to broaden their appeal and make some cash in the bargain.

The other trope that episode 8 of “Immersion” examines is the multiplayer feature known as Horde Mode. In 2009, “Gears of War 2″ introduced a new multiplayer option called Horde Mode. It tasks a team of players to survive against randomly spawned waves of enemies that get tougher as you go along. Since then, lots of games have included variants to this formula but the basics generally persist. Hunkered down around an ammo stash, everyone playing needs to spot and kill as many antagonists as possible. You’ll generally be able to revive a fallen comrade if he falls down on the field of battle, but put yourself at risk in doing so.

I really like how the arc of our two hapless heroes in this “Immersion” ep moves from foolhardy overconfidence to frustration to panic. It happens all too often in co-op video game play and would probably happen in true-life zombie scenarios, too. Filming for this “Immersion” installment took place at RTX 2011, the production company’s convention. The zombies horde is made up from attendees of the Rooster Teeth fanfest and, all things considered, I think they acquitted themselves well. You can view more episodes of “Immersion” here.

Do you think you and your friends would do better than Geoff and Gus in facing down a zombie horde? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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