Co-Optitude is my favourite show on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel. The basic premise is that siblings Felicia and Ryon Day play video games that they weren’t allowed to have as children. We watch as they play, argue and of course, cheat their way through classic and lesser-known titles from the early days of gaming. I’ve binge-watched the whole series using the DirectTV YouTube app. Each episode is about fifteen minutes long so it’s not that big of an achievement, but my sister swears that I’m obsessed. Truthfully they remind me of how noisy and ridiculous I am when playing games. I’ve been known to shout at the screen, throw tantrums and forget about everything when I play. That last bit is why I wasn’t allowed to have a gaming console either.
Games are suggested by viewers and then we watch Felicia and Ryon play them with little or no research. There’s definitely no practice beforehand which is why it’s fun to watch. They’re playing games designed for kids with a very adult point of view. There’s also a lot of sexual innuendo (not with each other, good grief!) because as adults we’ll find smut in everything. Just give us a chance. They also both have potty mouths and swear words are bleeped out with the Super Mario jump effect. That sound never gets old but in some episodes, bad words get away so don’t be surprised if Ryon says, “Let’s play this f*cker!” which is also their catchphrase. They also get pretty ridiculous when naming characters. Unless specified avatars often end up with monikers like “Anuss” pronounced Ah-noos and “Poopy.”
Generally speaking I really admire Felicia and find her work with this channel inspiring. She co-founded Geek & Sundry, is willing to try new things for viewers’ benefit on The Flog and has made a career out of being delightfully awkward; as opposed to the rest of us who are just awkwardly awkward. While Felicia embodies femininity on the show, even going so far as exclusively playing female characters if that option is available, Ryon represents masculinity.
Let’s get this out of the way – Ryon Day is a very beefy dude. Not Schwarzenegger ridiculous but I wouldn’t mind sitting around and watching him chop wood or something. In early episodes they showed a photo of him lifting and shirtless which is totally worth clicking for a gander. Yeah, I’m an equal opportunity sexist and proud of it. Besides looking darned good in a t-shirt, Ryon’s also quite nerdy and as Felicia’s brother, knows how to irritate her using the least number of words which makes it all the more entertaining. Seriously, watch the show with only one of them and you feel the absence of the missing Day.
I don’t play video games very often; firstly because I don’t have the time but mainly because the older games still appeal to me. This summer my nephew plugged in ye old Gamecube and we had a good time playing Super Smash Bros. Seriously I would be rendered speechless if somebody gave me a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 right now. I would play it often and challenge my brother like when we were kids. Although it was boring as heck watching him play level-after-level as Mario like a gaming genius, while I twiddled my thumbs until it was my turn to die as Luigi. Still, there’s a degree of comfort with those old games and they take us back to that more carefree time in our lives. Co-optitude reminds us of how much fun playing video games with another person can be regardless of age. Talking to friends on headsets is all well and good but playing games with a friend is so much better and we should try to do that more often.