Illinois 2002
Videos and pictures from the meeting

Randy Buikema Greg Lavery Dirk Olson Dan Dykstra Ben Gorman Derek Clark Eli Greenfield Roger?

Attention: Too many links here for me to doublecheck. Please report errors to

Natural Selection

Part 1: THE video you're looking for.
Don't want to DL 200 MB worth of clips? Here's a bit of everything.

3:58 - two versions to choose from High Quality (.mpg - 53.1 MB)
Low Quality (.wmv - 4.45 MB)
1. "The Ultimate Montage"
This 4-minute video contains footage from every video clip we made, carefully selected from 45 minutes of footage. The video includes all kinds of bonus effects, most noticeably, music. Not to mention, a few things the guys from Illinois won't even recognize. We definitely enjoyed this, I'm confident you'll enjoy it, too. I strongly recommend the larger file, because the alternative is much worse in quality, unfortunately. There was no comprimise on our video editing software. But our dialup visitors should be pitied occasionally, so we made two (as we did for a few other exceptionally long video clips).

Hmm well, clips of everything, from Challenge 30 to Randy spinning an N64 on his finger. The music stops for a few notable comical quotes, and we throw in a bunch of text to bring some life to it all. Hopefully it will make you laugh.

WARNING - Eli says the the "f-word". If you are offended by that, do not download this.
(i.e., you're a loser).

Part 2: The Basic Tours
Meet "Team USA" and see the ultimate gaming pad.

High Quality (.mpg - 4.67 MB)
2. Short Tour
Here's a short clip of the main participants of the trip. Eli grabbed the camera and started filming us without warning, so it's truly "candid", if you will. This video is the best one if you just want to see what we look like in full motion and color, wow! That's it's sole purpose, really.

Sense Paragon's rage as he fails a run as Randy watches. Dirk's smile of approval is classic.
3:02 - two versions to choose from: High Quality (.mpg - 40.3 MB)
Low Quality (.wmv - 3.41 MB)
3. Randy's School of GoldenEye
Here it is, the true tour of Randy Buikema's fabled basement. See it in it's finest hour, jam-packed with TVs, VCRs, gaming systems, computers, you name it. I am your host in this video, and I walk you through the basement during one particularly active night of game-playing, with everyone present. If you want to know what it looked like most of the week, this is the video to download.

We're all in this one, so you can put faces with the names you've become so familiar with. You can see exactly how we were able to play PAL.... And you get to see Randy "blow a 17 run" on Bunker 1 agent. Well, not exactly.

Yeah, 1:47 sure is great Dirk... ;)  Eureka!

God said, "Let there be Challenge 30," and there was. - Genesis 1:32

Part 3: Church Infiltration
Desecration? Humbug. I say Exhilaration!

High Quality (.mpg - 13.7 MB)
4. The big screen of all big screens's the story. Dirk's mom participates actively with the local Church, and has a set of keys for it. Dirk had an idea one day. We could go to the Church in the middle of the night, and using his mom's keys, break in and utilize their $20,000 projector for some insane big screen gaming. Well, it all went to plan (with no shortage of paranoia) and after some careful manipulating of heavy projector near the edge of a 20-ft balcony, we had our system hooked up and we were ready to go. We even used a variety of extension cords so that we could play on the lower level, closer to the screen. Perhaps too close...Ben had to take a walk around for a bit after getting motion sickness, haha! The projector could play sound, so we lucked out there. Anyway, this video is an impromptu narration from Paragon, inspired after we got PD projecting. I estimated the screen at 12 x 15 feet, or like...4 x 5 meters.

Ben's quote definitely was classic, in regard to the projection going onto the stained glass as Greg flipped over the projector: "Right now we're projecting the screen onto the house of the priest, who lives next door." Lol, I think that fit the moment well, because we were definitely a little paranoid at that point.
High Quality (.mpg - 3.47 MB)
5. "Who is getting double maulers?"
*irritated tone*"...THIRD player...who's third player?" - Ben Gorman. Funny thing is, it definitely wasn't the first time those words were spoken from Ben that night. It was especially funny because it kept happening. This time, on camera, I snicker because I know it's Eli, who's sitting right next to me. I make sure everyone knows, too. You can see us all sitting in the pews, plus you get to watch some world class Challenge 30 on the larger-than-life screen...well, perhaps not world class that particular game.

Ben's complaint is just classic, we all agree. *Ben runs around wildly on disarm*
High Quality (.mpg - 8.24 MB)
6. Dirk stands next to screen
We wanted to give you guys a way to fully comprehend the size of the screen, so we had Dirk go up and stand by it. As the video clip progresses, you can watch Paragon playing War. We were using nightshot for this one, so you can clearly see the whole altar area.

I still can't get over how huge the Mauler looks on the screen next to Dirk's head. Oh and I guess Dirk's gleeful leaping in front of the screen would be considered a "highlight", seems how it made the compilation movie.
High Quality (.mpg - 3.30 MB)
7. Eli falls
Slapstick humor is timeless, do not forget that. As Eli walks up the pitch black stairwell to the upper balcony of the Church, he falls victim to an extra step they added in case anyone ever breaks into the Church and tries to use the projector. Eli gathered his pride and trudged onward.

Eli falls on ass, reacts with surprised anger, etc.
High Quality (.mpg - 3.41 MB)
8. The Reaction
Here's the first few seconds after we got everything working. As PD loads up, Paragon's reaction, "Oh man.." was pretty much the consensus reaction among us. The screen was big before we had the projector on, but seeing the towering Joanna was rather awe-inspiring.

It's Paragon's gamepack! See his game timer! A MUST-SEE!!!
High Quality (.mpg - 4.61 MB)
9. Friendly Fire
Ben kills not one, but two teammates as they make their frantic scurry to the alley hill to add points to the team's total. Eli took exception to his abrupt death, but the rest of us definitely had a good laugh after Ben mowed them down and their blood spilled into the hill...but no points collected. I'm the cameraman in this; I'm on top of it and zoom in to confirm that Dirk and Eli are the victims.

Eli's angry reaction to his sudden death, "Definitely just killed me, what the fuck" is truly passionate. MAKE SURE to carefully watch player 4's screen. Right as a BlondeSim6 (or something) appears around the corner, Dirk and Eli fly into the picture and take successive, fatal mauler shots. BlondeSim6 made it into the hill safely.

A few days later, Dirk noticed something....

"Comical End to Church Escapade"
"There was an announcement in our Church bulletin this past Sunday:

Parents: Please keep your children from running around in the sanctuary and playing with the audio-visual equipment of the church.

This is 100% because of our little expedition. While we were unhooking cords from the projector as we were leaving, we had to pick it up and move it a bit. Turns out we forgot to/didn't bother to realign the projector, so the next time they turned in on, it was way off line. They just assumed it was some little kid playing on it, not some punk teenagers who broke in to play nintendo." - Dirk Olson

Part 4: "Random Ball Sports"
The exciting world of Randy's backyard.

High Quality (.mpg - 5.36 MB)
10. Our "Epic" Rally
After emerging from the basement to see the unfamiliar sunlight, I found a volleyball lying around in Randy's backyard. Eli and I started juggling the ball around and soon everyone was in on it. Only Eli and Ben have real soccer experience, so please keep that in mind. Our initial goal was to get a rally where everyone got a touch, and the first time we did it (wasn't long of course), everyone got not one, but two touches before the ball dropped in front of us. So check it out, it's a good chance to acquire a complete concept of everyone's appearance (aka, be alarmed by Greg's height).

The rally starts with a nice little flip by Randy. Dan gets some crazy left-footer to keep it alive (luck), preceded by a nifty back heel from Ben to me (skill). It was fun for us to watch this :)
High Quality (.mpg - 2.28 MB)
11. Dan falls
Dan had just set up the camera and was walking back to his position in our circle when a ball was sent his way. It appeared he could get it, but instead he made a pretty half-hearted attempt at it, missed completely, lost his balance and collapsed on the ground. It was pretty comical, definitely vid worthy.

I like how Dan flails at the ball with his hand as he slowly--but inevitably--falls to the ground.
High Quality (.mpg - 1.97 MB)
12. "Greg's afraid of the ball."
Well, perhaps not afraid, but as this ball comes up at Greg's upper body, he turns awkwardly to avoid letting it hit his arm, in a manner that was...just goofy, hehe. Then he tried to keep it alive off camera and sent it flying nowhere near us. Anyway, this definitely was a good chance for me to sample sound from one of my favorite movies, Meet the Parents :) (used in the montage).

As Greg goes chasing after the ball, Ben, still recovering from laughter, reinacts Greg's bad play on the ball...HIGHLY comical :)
High Quality (.mpg - 1.95 MB)
13. Randy biffs
Yet ANOTHER Team Illinois blooper.... This clip is definitely one of my favorites. Randy tries some crazy move to keep the rally going, but mishits it miserably. Then, off the camera, he chases after it and sends some crazy ball all the way across his yard and into the neighbor's. For such a short vid, it contains several funny moments.

When Randy tries his awkward kick to keep it alive, the ball makes a remarkably loud, flat noise that definitely is not good, lol. To make it better, he immediately recovers and darts after it, disappearing off the camera. Then he tries another crazy kick, but all you see in the camera shot is EVERYONE'S head watching as the ball sails over us, lol. Eli: "That's over." Greg: "Windooww.."
High Quality (.mpg - 13.3 MB)
14. Randy's next-door excursion
Well, in the previous clip, Randy blasted a wild kick into the next-door neighbor's yard. Dan decided to follow him with the camera, as he went looking for the ball.

This is the clip that contains Randy's infamous "evil" glare, hehe. Oh, and in case you were wondering, you are permitted to laugh at Dan's attempt to narrate this.
High Quality (.mpg - 2.11 MB)
15. Close Call
This is after Randy kicked the ball over the fence (the second time), and we were just kinda wandering around aimlessly, not wanting to go back inside just yet. We found a plastic orange ball and a wiffle ball bat. Greg tossed up a ball to Eli who turned on it and blasted a line drive--right at Ben's head. Lucky for Ben, who was standing about 10 feet away from Eli, he identified the threat before the ball was actually coming at him, and ducked out of the way just in time. I chuckle every time I watch it.

Greg definitely has a good, hearty laugh in this. I think we all did, he was just closest to the camera. I think Randy and Dan were still searching for the volleyball. One recommendation--watch it in slow motion :)
High Quality (.mpg - 1.71 MB)
16. Ping Pong!
Ben and Randy are two exceptional ping pong players, and we got a few seconds to display their skill. I must say, however, this was about 1 minute after they first started playing. Toward the end of the week their rallies were amazingly fast and precise. They actually use strong topspin on nearly every shot (top spin in ping pong!?). They definitely are impressive. Unfortunately they're playing pretty passively in this clip, but they were just warming up....

Randy finished off this rally with a pretty fierce slam.
High Quality (.mpg - 2.18 MB)
17. "I don't wanna play Paragon again."
As all of us watch Ben and Randy, Greg starts telling us about his fear of having to play Ben again. He has a short acount of his match from their previous meeting which we deemed worthy of a clip.

This is 100% Greg...if you think he's funny online, it translates pretty well into real life. Oh yeah, you get to watch some more leet ping-pongin'. Or not.

Part 5: "Random Spinning Talents"
The multi-talented Randy Buikema shows us his skills.

High Quality (.mpg - 3.01 MB)
18. Randy's 720
Randy has an unusual talent for anyone that's not a figure skater. He can jump and spin himself in two complete revolutions, 720 degrees, and land safely. Most would struggle somewhat with a 360...the fact Randy can even land without falling is pretty impressive.

The audio is glitchy in this, so let me clarify what was said. Eli, cameraman, says "That was a 720?" I reply, laughing, "What else would it be?", thinking it was pretty obvious that he did two spins. Eli's skepticism would hurt him in our next clip....
High Quality (.mpg - 3.47 MB)
19. Eli's 360
Eli seemed slightly unimpressed, and after Randy slightly exceeded 720 degrees while jumping off a few steps (not landing, however), Eli decided he would give it a shot and show Randy that he was nothing special. Well, Eli's amazing jump cannot be described with words, hehehe

Well, actually it can be described with words. After about 90 degrees of revolution, Eli appeared "stuck" and had to will his body back around to finish just one complete revolution. Only after seeing it on tape did Eli realize how sad it really was, lol. I cannot control my giddy laughter as I film, and as Eli proudly rep's his 360, I label it a 330 to make sure he doesn't get too confident.
High Quality (.mpg - 2.60 MB)
20. Randy spins N64 on finger
Randy's other spinning talent is his ability to spin almost anything on his finger. We thought it fitting that he spin an N64. He had a little trouble with it because it wasn't completely smooth where it needed to be, but he could still keep it going pretty well. With flatter items he could literally accelerate it as he spun it, until it was spinning blindingly fast. Most impressive was his ability to spin a 20-lb. dictionary with just one finger.

Pretty self explanatory assured I was flinching every time he did this, especially with the dictionary..
High Quality (.mpg - 4.52 MB)
21. Switching Fingers
I think this one pretty much explains itself too. While spinning a lighter book, Randy switches between 4 fingers while keeping it spinning the whole time. A truly impressive talent, despite it's uselessness, hehe. He also could send lighter objects up off his finger and catch them again, still spinning.

As he switches to his middle finger, he cannot resist the urge to flick off the camera (understandably). However, his evil face to accompany the finger is hilarious. This is the truly animated, lighter side of Randy that I came to know this trip. And by the way, he keeps it spinning, despite the flick-off.

Part 6: Bonus Footage!
Eli secretly films me playing PD....

1:15 - two versions to choose from High Quality (.mpg - 16.6 MB)
Low Quality (.wmv - 1.40 MB)
22. The Game Face
Everyone always told me I had intense facial expressions during video games, but I always just played it off, annoyed somewhat. A few days after the trip, we were having trouble with the camera, so Eli did what he normally does in that situation and started doing some recorded (triggers some "AutoCleanse" feature on his camera). Turns out we got something funny taped. I decide to show Eli Carrington Villa agent, so he could watch my run and then be amazed at the record (I'm foreign to PD, so those records seem insane to me). With no shortage of pained facial expressions, I finished an electric 1:39. My account of the run compared to the record is somewhat embarassing, but hey...anything for you guys!! This video is embarassing all the way around, but undeniably comical :)

This is 100% candid, the true me, playing video games. Not to mention my passionate amazement with Karl's 1:11 at the end. I must insist you DL the better quality version if you want to really see "the face", but I realize 16.6 MB is pretty big, hence the option of a smaller version.

Part 7: Pictures
Check out these random pics from the trip.

1. Ben Gorman - Focused....
2. Randy Buikema - Not to be taken seriously.
3. Greg Lavery - He's tall.
4. Dirk Olson - Best picture ever.
5. Dan Dykstra - "Caverns 00 is flippin' retarded."
6. Derek Clark - Who cares.
7. Eli Greenfield - On 3 computers at once...seriously.
8. Roger - he just showed up.
9. A Mauler. - a still shot taken from our Church visit.
10. Double Kill - Paragon's ownage of 2 teammates.
11. Cringing - Paragon braces for impact.
12. Mocking - Ben's imitation of Greg.
13. Representin' - HILARIOUS :)
14. Fuzzy Memories - Dan falling on ass.
15. Header #1 - My Dragon Ball Z style header
16. Header #2 - Randy sets up, good form here....
17. Header #3 - Randy following through--textbook.
18. Angry Ben - Player 3: 2 Maulers. Player 4: unarmed....
19. Eli needs a hug - Trips and falls, holding camera.
20. Spinning Free - Note Eli's horribly form.
21. Spinning Well - Randy's 720 still shot - funny :)
22. Footballers - A still from our "epic rally"
23. The Face of Pain - Me + PD = Call Police
24. Beware of Dog - Trespassing? Meh. We needed our ball.
25. 10 hours of Caverns - The wake of Dan's hunger.
26. 11 hours of Caverns - No comment.
27. Greg Lounging - A must-see! Click it! :)
28. Evil Randy - The eyes of a whoarder.
29. It's a Mario Party!! - We had a pic to burn.
30. Paragon's game file! - Brace yourself.
31. weeeee! - Dirk loves to jump.
32. Projector turns on - The moment of glee.
33. Happy Randy - Not sure how this made the cut.
34. Randy Biffs - Randy's comical blunder.
35. Slammed! - Randy's ping pong winner.
36. School of GoldenEye - in session.
37. N64 = cake - Randy owning the N64 in a new way.
38. 15 Systems #1 - 7 N64s on one table!
39. 15 Systems #2 - Where nerds come to die.
40. The Finger - I fear Randy Buikema.
41. The Day of Infamy - Not 9/11, but Unhoard 2002....
42. Moment of Infamy - *click*

Bonus Pics!

Funny still shots of Eli and I dunking :)
43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55

Until next year....
copyright 2002-2003

Go Home

[postscript--go to and play TextTwist. Team USA got 450,000 before comp froze overnight.]