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.
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.