When San Diego high school friends Rocco Botte, Derrick Acosta and Shawn Chatfield started a local public-access TV show in 2003 to showcase their comedy skit videos about classic videogames, they also unwittingly became Internet video pioneers. “Public-access was our only outlet,” Acosta recalls. “There was no YouTube back then; we thought, ‘Let’s promote our TV show by putting our clips on the Internet.’”

When those clips blew up, the trio quickly realized that the Internet was the way to go. Since then, Mega64 has released DVDs and created a wide range of podcasts, promos, faux-promos and commercials, all bearing its stylistically unique take on things. “We like to be cinematic and artistic, but at the same time we’re very guerrilla and raw,” Chatfield says. “We’re running around, shooting from the hip, sometimes running from the police and sneaking into places we shouldn’t be,” Acosta adds, “so it falls somewhere in the middle.” The result? “You never know what you’re going to get with one of our videos,” says Botte. “It might be beautifully composed and shot, or it might be Shakicam stuff.”

The group also collaborates with game developers, “particularly Japanese ones,” he adds. “For some reason our sense of humor carries over there really well, and Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary Super Mario Bros. creator, and Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear Solid both cameoed in our videos.”

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Influences: Tom Green, “Jackass,” “South Park,” “Mystery Science Theater 3000”