Montage Parodies: Best Genre of Video on the Internet

Tony Abbott of Australia embraces his true identity as a master of Call of Duty. He has risen in the ranks of FaZe Clan and is widely recognized as the most MLG quickscoper in the leauge.

Tony Abbott of Australia embraces his true identity as a master of Call of Duty. He has risen in the ranks of FaZe Clan and is widely recognized as the most MLG quickscoper in the leauge.

Owen Wickman, Staff Writer

The internet, one of the greatest modern inventions, has been directly responsible for shaping the future of the world and beginning the Information Age. Out of all the inventions that have progressed human history, very few have brought with them entirely new cultures. People who have never met will incessantly argue over the smallest things and use the most radical and/or creative insults ever seen on the face of the planet. With the new insults and a precedent to make fun of others, satire has hit an all time high, and no one anywhere is safe from ridicule. One such offshoot of this comical satirical element is the mockery of Major League Gaming (MLG) players.

Montage parodies began in 2011 as a response to the growing popularity of montages (collages of video clips exemplifying something, in this case video games) released by e-sports teams such as FaZe Clan and Optic Gaming, as well as individual players who thought they were performing at high levels. As the number of creators and montages grew, the quality dropped with it. While some montage makers grew in skill (usually the professional e-sports teams and a few individuals), more and more bad montages were being released by individuals who either had no skills in playing the games or editing their videos, and even some e-sports teams simply could not put quality montages together. Horrible and over the top editing from supposed professionals combined with an influx of overall poor montages created an influx of garbage that was beginning to draw the ire of viewers and stir the creativity of others. The creative began to satirize the montage community as a whole, and the creations were later dubbed montage parodies.

Montage parodies began with an emphasis on the editing of montages, which was the main issue with the growing montage community at the time. The horrid editing and over the top designs became a motif of montage parodies, and to this day, montage parodies contain so much overlay that it is difficult to see what is occurring underneath. The overlay consists of tropes taken originally from the awful montages, as well as other controversial or comical sources.

An example of a trope coming from a place other than a montage would be the Doritosgate controversy. This controversy came about when the video game news media came under fire for blatant product placement, specifically that of Doritos and Mountain Dew, which were supposedly the “fuel of gamers.” These two food items found themselves in montage parodies fairly quickly, typically flashing all over the screen and ridiculing the “Doritos Pope” (the journalist with the barefaced product placement) and other aspects of video game journalism at the time. Over time, more and more tropes became prevalent in montage parodies, giving them great diversity. The dancing Snoop Dogg gif, Sanic hegehog, and phrases such as “2spooky4me” and “git rekt m8” all came into usage in similar ways; individuals found them funny and added them to their parodies to increase the over the top feeling that montage parodies induced. Even today, more memes continue to be added to the parodies. One of the most recent ones is “Press [F] to pay respects.” This meme comes from the criticism of Call of Duty’s most recent game, Advanced Warfare, and poor cutscene and character interaction design on the developer’s part.

Diversity not only came from the new memes introduced, but also the parodies themselves. Since the beginning of parodying “MLG” gameplay videos, popular parody creators have branched out to include non-video game related events and people to parody, such Tony Abbot, the Teletubbies, Game of Thrones, and many other completely unrelated topics. With these new topics, the videos grew and expanded to the point where they were their own genre of video, existing based on their own jokes rather than making fun of montages. Montage parodies are created with their own set of jokes now, and rarely does a “good” montage parody actaully satirize montages anymore. They will satirize anything, from ISIS to movies like The Terminator.

Unfortunately, the montage parody community suffered the same fate as the actual montage community: low quality and superfluous content. As the many montages of middling quality began to outnumber the montages of creators with original jokes and superior humor, many people began to feel the community was losing its charm. Recently on a forum called /r/montageparodies, a post titled “Are Montage Parodies Dead?” rose in popularity. The poster griped and complained about the atrocious quality of recent videos, calling the community out on overused jokes and unoriginal content. The post was large and very controversial, resulting in a large of recent montage parodies being about originality and calling for the community to recognize the fact that montage parodies are their own set of jokes and humor, but at the same time, it should be recognized, as montage creator Kiisliy puts it, that “a montage parody is everything that satirizes montages overall, a montage parody is not always supposed to be a video with distorted audio, flashing and shaking images.” By this, he means that just because a video does not look like the flashing, deafening, inconceivable monstrosities that stereotypically define the community, does not mean that said video is not a montage parody.

From this controversy evolved what is hopefully a stronger, more regulated, and high quality community. Perhaps now the montage parody community can continue its five year trend of producing montages that bring tears to the eyes of viewers, whether they be tears of confusion and terror or joy and euphoria.