Entertainment conventions happen more frequently now that everything from video games to YouTube has become a part of mainstream pop culture. This fusion of content variety is perhaps best represented at the Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX), which took place in Austin, Texas over 4th of July weekend. The first RTX took place in 2011, so this year marked the expo’s sixth outing; a record-setting 60,000 attendees were said to be present at the Austin Convention Center.
Rooster Teeth, for those who don’t know, is an Austin-based production company that dabbles in a variety of video content. They produce machinima (the art of creating films using real-time video game environments), live-action shorts and comedies, let’s plays and video walkthroughs for popular video games, and even their own animated cartoons — one of which is their most popular series, RWBY.
The expo is mainly broken into three parts: The Expo Hall, autograph signings and individual panels. The panels ranged in topic from behind-the-scenes discussions on 3D modeling and animation to Q&As with popular celebrity creators about their upcoming projects. Other noteworthy panels included “Audio for Noobs” and a showcase of projects being developed by the RTX community and fanbase. There was also a major cosplay contest, which you can find out more about in an upcoming recap article, which will be linked here after it’s published later this week.
As for the autograph signings, there were a number of celebrities from an assortment of mediums that were more than happy to sign items for RTX attendees who snagged autograph tickets in advance of the show. These celebrities included popular YouTubers such as Jared Knabenbauer — better known to the community as ProJared — and Jirard Khalil aka “The Completionist,” who are both best known for their video commentaries about both classic and current video games; Jessica Nigri, who is a professional cosplayer; and Jen Brown and Shannon McCormick, part of the voice cast of RWBY.
The core of RTX, however, was the Expo Hall. The Expo Hall was located in the heart of the Austin Convention Center, and played host to a variety of vendors, game demos and live broadcasts. Among the winding maze of booths and displays were all sorts of merchandise. Some of the standout highlights included pixel art designs of popular game and anime characters (seen above) and game shops selling rare and vintage, classic video games. There was also a large stage setup where audiences could sit down and watch live tapings of tournaments, contests, and other shows being broadcast live via streaming services to those who were unable to attend RTX in person.
Overall, RTX is a wonderful event for those who are interested in new media. Whether you can already name a favorite YouTuber, are just getting into machinima, have a love of video games and comics, or just want to engage with an incredibly welcoming and hospitable community, the Rooster Teeth Expo is the perfect starting point for getting into the convention scene. I highly recommend planning to attend RTX 2017, which is dated for July 7-9.
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Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Vincent Parisi / Best of NJ