Wednesday January 29, 2014

The history of Off The Map Live

Off The Map LIVE started off as a small project with our then intern Matt. He came to us with a strange obsession with video games, primarily competitively playing Street Fighter IV and Marvel Vs Capcom 3. The international community of players is called the "FGC" short for Fighting Game Community. The FGC thrives due to their community leaders streaming the live tournament events from major hubs around the world. 

(Prominent FGC community leaders of Cross Counter TV)

After the Paradise Tattoo Gathering in 2011, Matt wanted to share with the world the inspiration he got as a non tattooer from the dedicated community. Slowly but surely owner Gabe Ripley and Matt worked to develop a webcast show highlighting members in the tattoo community who were guest spotting at the Easthampton location. After a short run of both Matt and Gabe failing at hosting, they approached long time renaissance man Ben Licata to help with the project. Ben added a new intensity to the show and helped out wherever he could making improvements, more importantly he set out on the quest of becoming our host.

(Matt and Ben at Paradise Tattoo Gathering 2013)

Our first  "flawless"  episode featured former Off The Map artist Kelly Doty and Biomech specialist Markus Lenhard who joined us via skype from Germany. That episode was December 16th, 2012 and since then we've filmed a new episode every other week taking small breaks between seasons. Innovation only happens when the group is non-complacent, and Gabe Ripley continues  to push the bar upward for our small team.  With a stubborn dedication we've managed to reach goals never before imagined by Matt. Failure, although painful, has been a huge motivating factor  with the mantra of “Problem solve not problem report”.  When challenges arose the small team has always found a way of succeeding in their goal.

(Markus Lenhard and Kelly Doty episode Dec. 2012)

Our intern Matt has now moved into a full time position and credits both Gabe and Ben for pushing and helping him improve the show into something totally unique.The road has been rocky, but loyal viewers kept tuning in every other week to participate in the chat and watch us fail or succeed. During our 2014 season premiere, a new guest in the 150 person chat room, made fun of a tech glitch that caused the skype call to drop. To our glee, another chat room guest quickly shot him down stating "I've been watching since the beginning, this episode is going great!".


No matter what, this project would not exist if it were not for the artists who were willing to help out along the way.  So a massive thank you to all who watch our episodes and the artists who take time to either Skype with us or join us in person. 


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Off the Map LIVE is webcast every other Sunday from Off the Map Tattoo in Easthampton Massachusetts! Check out past episodes on our YouTube channel, and visit for more info.

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