For those who haven’t been keeping up to date on the latest, admittedly-stupid, Youtube fads and cannot recognize the image above or any of the tags at the bottom of this article, then this may all be new to you. As we all know, the gaming community is comprised of a large variety of vastly different peoples, some of which have managed to gain vitriolic reputations on the internet for their rather dubious natures. So what happens when gamers come to grips with the realization that certain aspects of their culture are inherently worth mocking? This apparently:
These videos are known as “Montage Parodies”, or alternatively, “MLG Parodies”. They are often crass, resemble “Youtube Poops,” and on occasion, have the ability to give the more fragile, unsuspecting members of the audience epileptic seizures. If you’re a gamer and the phrases, “get rekt” or “u wot m8” don’t mean anything to you, or if the often-reprimanded products, Doritos and Mountain Dew, are nothing more than simply sodium and sugar-filled junk snacks, then there’s only one of two different possibilities here. Either you have managed to live under a rock, hidden safely away from the people who spend the majority of their life in competitive online lobbies, or you’re clearly part of the supposed problem these videos are attempting to shed light on.
On Youtube, one can find thousands and thousands of videos of gameplay montages comprised of Call of Duty footage off a capture card. Every middle schooler and their mom has their own would-be killstreak videos clogging up the internet. Often times these videos are preceded by an overly flashy “clan” or “production” intro in order to convey a sense of legitimacy. The content that follows afterwards is almost always the same: an overly flashy, edited-to-death compilation of various snippets of online CoD matches the creator of the video thought were cool enough to please kids with ADHD long enough to get Likes and recognition within the community. However, CoD players are a large population and some of them have noticed this trend and have applied the same level of craftsmanship to real-world footage, as well as to other mediums of entertainment, exposing the absurdity of it all in doing so. It’s something of a phenomenon, regardless of whether the jokes will last or not, as a serious impact has still been made.
Utilizing similar principles that memes do, (and sometimes including them) the videos have the strong possibility of eventually losing steam due to over-saturation. Though not exactly referential humor, many of the laughs stem from joke recognition applied in foreign scenarios. For now, they can be utterly hilarious and can manage to have me laughing at the same jokes told in slightly different ways, but only time will tell if the photoshopped fedora and blunt will go the way of the troll face. However, I feel that as long as Call of Duty, Halo, and the like are still getting matchmaking lobbies filled with the pubescent amongst us, the words “oh baby a triple,” will still have a reliable, meaningful concept behind it: that videogames make people think the dumbest, proudest things of themselves.
Regardless of whether or not one considers MLG parodies works of art, or even videogames as art for that matter, there is still a very real, symbiotic relationship between entertainment media and the public which consumes it at work here. Life imitates art, and art has the power to influence life. So while what we’re seeing here may at first glance appear to be simply dumb fun to kill a few minutes on the bus or on the toilet, it actually, strangely, is representative of the ebb and flow between artists and consumers of art. By acknowledging certain aspects of gamer culture, an awareness to the self is made known. AAA videogames tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and in doing so, consequently dumb themselves down for mass appeal. Videos like this show that the this is not necessary. Though seemingly the lowbrow works of churlish philistines, parodies like these illustrate a cognizance and self-recognition within the audience and that games can be more than what they are; that the M on the box can actually stand for the word “Mature.”
If big name developers and publishers will ever fully realize the opportunities by which an interactive medium gives them is a question that is currently up in the air. The public wants it, and games like The Last of Us proved its success. But alas, who’s to say? No one can know for sure… but I have a feeling this is the answer:
*videos by Banzala and Materialisimo
**illuminati by deez nuts