You’ve been waiting your whole life for this moment, I can feel it. And now you finally have a chance to say “It’s not a tumor!” in your best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice and really, really believe it. Or wait– sorry, wrong movie. That’s Junior, everyone’s second favorite Schwarzenegger film. The first is Predator, of course, which Babycastles has invoked to emphasize just how real this 100 percent real helicopter’s gonna be at Super Hot Ronny’s Rumble. The video game collective and DIY art gallery’s competitive indie games tournament is back and it’s kicking off Saturday morning(ish) with a race to the helipad. First person to “Get to the choppa!” wins big at this “very lol” event.
The day-long gaming tourney’s named for Ronny Nunez, an active member at Babycastles until 2014, when he went his own way. Nunez may have peaced, but he left behind the Rumble in his wake. “Every subsequent person who threw a rumble inherited the name but also attached their name to it,” Babycastles member/artist/musician Jónó Mí Ló told us. “That’s why the official name of the event is Frank’s SUPER (John & Zara’s (Coach Kyle’s (Hot Ronny’s))) Rumble.”
The one-mile race (see the map below) happening at this year’s rumble starts at Two Bridges. Pre-selected contestants will wind along the pedestrian walkway that parallels South Street and, as long as no one capsizes any baby stroller situations along the way, they’ll hit the finish line at Pier 6. The competing runners include Joe Salina of Babycastles; Mark Kleeb of the late, great Death By Audio Arcade; Toni Pizza of Indicast East, and a few more indie gaming bigwigs, all of whom are just trying to get to that pie in the sky.
The IRL helicopter will be waiting to take the winner on the most pimped-out victory shimmy ever, looping around Ellis and Governors islands and, finally, twirling around Lady Liberty, presumably giving her a little wink-wink, sup?-sup? before peace-ing out to a car that will chauffeur them to the tourney.
Meanwhile, the rest of us losers will be waiting at Babycastles on 14th Street, where the marshmallow eating contest will begin promptly at 2:30 pm. There will be visuals! And mushy things! And if you’re thinking, “No way, gross. Diabetes!” you’re not wrong, but nor are you right– think about it, you’re gonna need all that sugar for the four solid hours of gaming to follow.
Players will be handed a card indicating their placement on one of three adorable teams: Qwop Bear (the Babycastles CEO), Soda Drinker Pro Penguin, and Girp Bat. From 3 pm to 7 pm, contestants will compete in unlimited face-offs happening across nine separate consoles scattered throughout the gallery.
Three games will be projected on the big screens overhead with MCs doing play-by-plays and announcing the winners. So if you’re straight-up owning, everyone’s gonna know. And, sure, there’s always the chance that people will bow down to you when things are working out in your favor. If you’re into that sorta thing, look for Videoball, Particle Mace (super old-school ’80s spaceship stuff, very Asteroids meets Space Invaders), and Yo Fight My Mans. The latter, designed by Ashok Kondabolu of Das Racist, was revealed earlier this year at the creator’s supremely wacky exhibition and event series. “It’s a Tekken-style fighting game, where we grafted onto the fighters people from our world,” the creator told us in February.
If the Wild West is more your thing, check out Sophie Houlden’s shootout game, Bang Bang Bang! There’s also Hecticube which looks sort of like air hockey, only with geometrically diverse pucks and an extraterrestrial gravitational pull. And then there’s Snacats, because cats. There’s also Chirp Club, Brolly Folly, and Star Versus. Check out the game trailers here.
— rhymes with crush (@akaPrash) May 10, 2016
If fierce competition isn’t really your thing and the tourney starts feeling way too heavy on your brittle bones, or you get a little too excited and start losing your voice from screaming “BOOSH!” while raising the roof over and over again (don’t worry, it’s an embarrassing reflex that many of us experience), there’s always the option of playing some select “friendly games.” These will give you the opportunity to take a break from the nail-biting/ loser-pounding and play for funs not for runs.
Perhaps you’ll even get sick of winning? It’s hard being perfect, we know. But don’t sweat it– Babycastles has planned plenty of dazzling distractions including a piñata bust and “robot beauty pageant,” all followed by an after party.
Super Hot Ronny’s Rumble is going down Saturday August 6, 11:30 am to 7 pm: tickets, $10, or donate a t-shirt and get a two-for-one deal.