For the uninitiated, the term “Griefer” refers to the folks in multiplayer video games who deliberately harass other players in the game, usually in the most annoying ways possible (verbal insults, intentionally killing other players, siding with the enemy, crashing servers, etc.). They are basically the bane of the video game universe, bold and brash and unapologetic about their actions. And this video — from Deadmau5’s upcoming Album Title Goes Here, (which, come to think of it, is sort of a Griefer title, at least to copy editors) — is all of those things and then some.
Part “Thunderdome,” part “Robot Jox,” the video is basically one long, muscled-up UFC nightmare (props to the actual UFC for playing along), all testosterone and pyro and whirling, headache-inducing technological mega-babble. The ’mau5 and Way face off for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, only they don’t battle it out in the octagon. Instead, they pilot massive mau5-headed machines that crash and bash while throngs of spectators — and one terrifically testosteroned ring announcer — cheer them on.
The clip is unabashedly huge and unapologetically over-the-top, seemingly delighting in offending the senses and tweaking our current hyper-saturated society, one that shows no signs of de-caffeinating anytime soon. Of course, one can logically assume all of this was intentional … after all, both Deadmau5 and Way are clever guys, so part of the delight in watching the clip comes from realizing that they’re both in on the joke. Sparks fly, biceps flex, steel shatters and both men try their very best to hide wry smiles throughout. Most of the time, they actually succeed.
And while it may seem that highlighting the sheer spectacle of the clip would be playing directly into its hands, there’s a genuine, visceral thrill in watching something this massive, this loud, this deliberately cloying. In a way, it’s positively brilliant: “Professional Griefers” is intentionally thumbing its nose at the way videos are made today, and it’s doing so in the most blatant way possible. You can call it social commentary if you’d like (and you probably should), but there’s a pretty good chance your voice would be drowned out in the din. The era of subtlety is over, after all, and the only way to get your point across is to shout it as loudly as possible and with as much pyro as you can possibly pack. Welcome to the age of the Griefer.