Everybody has theories about video games. Are the stories just stories, or is there something much deeper to the lore and setting? We discuss these things on message boards, write up blog posts, and even make videos. And yet, there are still those games that we can’t fully explain because they’re just so out there and we can’t literally pick the brains of the creators.
Wading through the theoretical mire of video game philosophy is Wisecrack, a Los Angeles-based YouTube channel made of comedians, academics, and filmmakers dedicated to exploring and understanding the world around them. They break down video games, TV shows, and movies with an academic spin you can only get from the experts. When academics team up with video game enthusiasts, you get some of the most well-thought-out theories on the internet.
Wisecrack’s videos elaborate on theories based on philosophy, psychology, and sociology to make their points. In their latest video, they even came up with a way to explain the inexplicable plot of Dark Souls. See for yourself:
According to Wisecrack’s theories, it’s all Freudian. Subconscious desires to return to the womb in order to figure out who we truly are, every entry and exit is a metaphorical vagina, and all the big evil monsters are trying to make you feel castrated by killing you over and over and over. It’s a bit of a stretch, but an interesting one nonetheless.
Previously, Wisecrack created a video that explores the psychology of the subconscious in relation to the Final Fantasy series, touching on topics such as psychological phantasy (Freud & Lacan), the death drive, and the world as standing reserve. They talk about amnesia, trauma, dreams, the villainous desire for destruction and mastering the environment, and how the stories are built around all these things. Make sure to take notes. There will be a quiz later.
Wisecrack even took a shot at explaining how playing Candy Crush Saga can liberate you from the socioeconomic confines of the mass corporate stranglehold of capitalism. For real.
Wisecrack’s videos hardly stop there. Check out their YouTube channel in the link above for even more theories on some of your favorite games, movies, and TV shows.
What do you think of the theories presented in these videos? Is there something to them, or are they overthinking it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Featured image credit: Namco Bandai/From Software