Loulou Callister-Baker talks to Dylan Beck, aka Rudeism, aka the guy who plays games wrong. Video by John Bollen.
Dylan Beck is better known by his gamer alias Rudeism and is best known as the guy who got to level 100 on World of Warcraft using his feet and two old Playstation 2 dance pads as controllers.
Following the mantra “I play games wrong,” Dylan’s Twitch account chronicles his experimental gaming using obscure or self built controllers. He has more than 25,000 followers.
By day, the 26-year-old works as a game designer at Runaway - a Dunedin-based game developer and publisher. But at least three nights a week, the countdown starts on his Twitch stream and suddenly Rudeism appears, ready to stream unconventional and inventive gameplay.
Dylan makes it all happen at his home with two monitors, two webcams, a microphone, a greenscreen and various quirky controllers.
In mid October his stream went viral again after he hooked up bananas to a circuit and successfully used them as a controller for the game Overwatch. A week later Dylan played Hanzo using a Nerf bow as his controller.
But his set ups are only scratching the surface of possibilities for 'weird' gaming. This year, he plans to look into playing games with an EEG reader (a device that records electrical activity in the brain), which would take his gaming to a whole other futuristic level: he’d be playing by using mind control.
When did your interest in games start?
My grandparents bought me a computer when I was three. One of my earliest memories is playing games on that. I was an only child so I didn’t have to worry about brothers or sisters to share things with. My parents were fine with it; it was what I enjoyed doing.
What are your gaming accolades?
When I was a kid, I was that guy who was really good at Tony Hawk – that was where I got my competitive edge from.
I started playing Guitar Hero when I was about 16. I played that non-stop for about 5 years. I got to the point where I would go up to Auckland to compete in national competitions. The first one I went to I got third. The second one I went to I got second. The third one I went to I won, which meant I got to represent New Zealand overseas. When I won, I broke down in tears. I remember calling up Mum and telling her I was going to America.
I went to LA to the 2010 World Cyber Games. At the time it was like the Olympics of gaming. [The Guitar Hero 5 tournament] had 22 competitors from 19 different countries. I was playing games against Austria, Italy and I managed to sneak a win from the States. I knocked out Canada. I was beaten by the UK and I ended up getting 4th.The guy that won was on such a different level. He was 13, from the States and did nothing but play Guitar Hero. He absolutely crushed everybody.
When did you start streaming?
In about July 2015, but I’ve only done “weird stuff” streams for about a year.
I was streaming one day – my streams only got about 5 viewers – and a friend of mine said I should try playing Rocket League with a guitar. I thought it was fucking stupid, but I started to think about it.
I expected to fail, but after fifteen minutes I scored a goal [with the guitar] and realised it was something I could do. I wanted to just get one aerial goal. I managed to do it the first time I streamed it after about an hour just by pure luck. Someone posted a gif of it on Reddit and it got a lot of traction. No one had ever done that before.
Wow, no one ever?
Not that specific thing. But people have played games with weird controllers before. The earliest example I can think of was about 12 years ago when someone bet Soul Calibur on the hardest difficulty with a Dreamcast Fishing Controller.
What else have you done?
I’ve played Mirror’s Edge, which is a first person shooter, with a steering-wheel.
I’ve played World of Warcraft with dance pads. I started it in March this year and posted on Twitter that I was doing it. When I started streaming it I was doing a little bit better – I was averaging 15 viewers a stream. I had been playing for an hour or two and suddenly all these people started [writing to me in the chat] telling me that World of Warcraft have tweeted about me on their main Twitter. They have over a million followers – I was like fucking seriously? Everyone just piled in. It ended up being the top stream for Warcraft at the time [on Twitch]. A whole bunch of Blizzard employees were coming in to say ‘what’s up’ – some of them I still talk to now.
How did you do that?
I had a programme set up that detected the buttons on the two dance pads and turned each of those buttons into a keyboard press.
It got around Twitter and all the major [gaming] news sites like Kotaku and Polygon. Halfway through [getting to level 100 on Warcraft] my stream got onto the front page of Reddit. It was the top post on Reddit for a day. That was when things started to get really ridiculous.
What happened when you finished?
I got to level 90 of Warcraft on a Friday. By then, I was streaming almost everyday – I wanted to ride the wave as much as possible. For nearly a straight month I would get up, set up for the stream, go to work, come home and stream for 4 hours. It was tough. On the Saturday I streamed for 12 hours straight. I went to sleep, then on Sunday I went for another 13 hours. I [reached level 100] at 1am on a Monday. I got to level 99 and I couldn’t even pay attention to what was going on [in the chat]. For one I was fucking delirious and two there were 500 people or more watching.
I didn’t break down. I sat down, which was nice – it was the first time I had done that in about a month. Then everything just blew up. It was an exciting time. I was on Reddit again. I got a few thousand followers from that day alone. Everyone just wanted to know about it. Then I was like, I guess I should figure out the next thing to do!
What are your other goals for 2016?
I’m halfway through playing Skyrim with voice controls. It’s really fucking hard. You can only do one thing at a time – imagine playing with a controller and only pressing one button at a time. The software also has to process what you’re saying and that takes time so you have to start thinking ahead.
Do you ever want to make a living streaming?
It’s not something I’ve ever considered doing but it’s something that I’ve thought about how I would do it if I did. I don’t know how people do it. It’s a lot of work. If I was doing it full time I could start at 9 and go to 6 and call it a day – that’s sustainable. Personally I would find it kind of hard because I want to create stuff. That’s why I stream what I stream. I like doing new things. I couldn’t just play games for a living.