Bad Mother#%*$er

BadMF3

Video Games are merging into popular culture. While they have always been a part of it, they are quickly becoming a seamless component of it, in the same way that television and the internet are not seen as “weird,” but as the very epitome of normal. I have noticed that recently, it seems as though video games have been coming to the forefront of popular culture. In the movie “Spring Breakers,” one of the main characters tells the another to “pretend it’s a video game” when they are about to rob a convenience store. Similarly, video games and the gamer subculture have become increasingly prevalent in other art forms and media. Today, I saw the music video “Mother Fucker” for the band Biting Lips. While the song is rather good, what really stands out is the accompanying music video. Here is a link to the video so that you can enjoy it before reading my analysis of it.

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The entire video is shot from a first-person perspective, making the viewer assume the point-of-view of a man, presumably an agent of espionage or mercenary, as they fight to get back a mysterious device that an antagonistic corporation has stolen from them. The first shot of the video involves the man’s partner being shot as enemies take the device from the agent. It is so reminiscent Call of Duty cinematics, that it could very well be part of one of the games. The viewer then assumes the same role as a “player” as the man gets up and proceeds to dispatch several enemies, including a dog, in a style very similar to Call of Duty and other first person shooters. What follows is an elaborate, pre-scripted escape sequence, much like the quick time events now common in first person shooters. The man then participates in a car chase, roof top chase, and a sci-fi fight sequence. Throughout all of this, the camera retains its first person perspective. This type of video seems to be a direct product of video games and their influence. The video might also owe a bit of its aesthetic to Reservoir Dogs, the Quentin Tarantino film.

What I found so interesting about this music video was its heavy influence from video games and its excellent execution of a first person perspective. The hand-to-hand combat, shootouts, chase scenes, and sci-fi elements are all handled very well and feel authentic. One could easily expect the exact sequence of events in a video game. The protagonist even has time to bump into amply proportioned women who are presented as sex objects- just like in video games! With more video-game influenced art and media coming to the forefront of popular culture, I think it will interesting to see how video games influence the world and are influenced in return.

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  4 comments for “Bad Mother#%*$er

  1. Isaac Whalen
    April 18, 2013 at 1:50 am

    I think one of the reason for the growing inclusion of video game culture into the “mainstream” is the public’s fascination with sub-cultures. For example, look back to the early ’60’s when America was just starting to figure out how cool surfing was: Endless Summer, Beach Boys, Gidget, etc. Then in the ’90s grunge and skate took off partially because of their underground status. I would argue that video games are the next sub-culture to grab to mass’s attention, thanks i part to apps.

  2. Haley
    April 18, 2013 at 4:35 am

    I’m delighted that someone brought up this video! When I saw it, I found it extremely reminiscent of the Assassin’s Creed series, but then I’ve never played Call of Duty, so I suppose that makes sense; I based my comparison on what I was familiar with. Incidentally, that kind of leads into my main point.

    I think there’s another explanation besides a fascination with subcultres that can account for the prominence of video games in the public eye. First and foremost, the medium is becoming far more widespread and more accepted as a pastime. You mentioned in your post that TV wasn’t always a cultural staple; its adoption took time, and video games are no different. Today television is so omnipresent that it’s not even confined to our TVs anymore, and services such as NetFlix and Hulu are offering viewers the chance to watch movies and television on tablets and laptops.

    That kind of cross-pollination within the media is the other reason that video games have become such a visible part of our cultural landscape. Mediums are expected to access each other, to be in conversation, to be compatible across platforms and even genre. Students of ds106 spend an entire week studying remixes and mashups, a practice that’s as old as music but has taken on myrad new dimensions thanks to how easy it is to share media online. Cultural cross-references seem inevitable in such an environment, and the more widespread gaming becomes, the more we’re going to see references to, subtle and overt, it popping up in our pop culture.

  3. jleake33
    April 18, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Video games are definitely seeming to become a daily part of everyday life. I always seem to hear a sports commentator refer to a certain athlete’s performance in a game as “something out of a video game.” I agree with Isaac’s comment about how it is like its own subculture. Nowadays, people seem to find a game or two that they really connect with, and they follow it until the game is no longer made. When it comes to the music video, being filmed to represent a first person shooter, like that of Call of Duty, it is almost done so to capture a bigger audience. If I saw a video on YouTube called “Mother Fucker,” I’m pretty sure that I would give it no attention. However, the screenshot of the video would have me intrigued to see why such a harsh sounding title relates to such a cool and almost normal image to see for someone who plays video games. Video games are this decades “thing.”

  4. jblocky
    January 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I remember a while back, one of my teachers had told the class that violent video games are the cause of much of the violence in the world today. I remember thinking how ridiculous that sounded. How could a video game be the root of a violence epidemic? Looking back, I can see how some video games can help already mentally unstable people develop violent tendencies, but overall, I see these video games as a narrative of the already existing violent world. Games like Grand Theft Auto seem to represent gang culture, not promote it. I think that’s why people play these violent games. They can attempt to understand why violence is such a prevalent theme is American culture. The music video for “Mother Fucker” is in itself, a narrative of video game culture and some of its violent themes. That’s the magic of video games, and why they’re so popular in daily life: you can fully immerse yourself in this imaginary world and do whatever you want without getting in trouble. In this way, the player can foster a unique connection with whatever game they like to play.

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