‘Skyrim’ and ‘Sopranos’ Meme Universe Collide

Do you remember that scene in The Sopranos? You know, the one where Tony and Johnny Sack make the snow and are about to go back to talking about killing plates of meats for lunch, when the worst thing a gangster can see when engaged is about to come. -parlay one. of the heads of the five tribes: a beating, level-30 Frost Dragon?

If you can’t, that’s because it wasn’t filmed. Or, at least, not on HBO. This is the work of YouTuber Pertinax, who last year toured Sopranos characters from their New Jersey milieus and put them on the sights of Bethesda — mostly Skyrim, but little New Vegas, also. On his channel, you can see the mob hunting the idlas White Stag and criticism weeping tavern barkadas. You can see Tony in his dressing gown, fled the NPCs on the streets of Whiterun. You’ll see comments like “Woke up this mornin ‘, got yourself a sword. Mom always says you’re the Dragonborn.” For a particular type of fan, this is a glorious time to go online.

Pertinax (and its imitators) have the skills of a sketch writer for pulling two worlds in surreal contrast: Their videos are hilarious, like sitcom crossovers. They are also subtly bright, a neat encapsulation of how pop culture is metabolized in the 21st century. At a time when it has become more impossible to separate cultural artifacts from the memes they create — just imagine the strange life in the next life. The Simpsons‘steamed ham—The meme universe is already canons in themselves. And they come together, forming the kind of multiverses that are only possible at a time when even a display as wide as The Sopranos can be downplayed by images of it circulating online.

Pertinax, who asked to remain anonymous, said the formula for her SopranosSkyrim The mashups came while making Middle Ages 2 and General Roman War “Experience videos,” clips that summarize the games, or some aspect of them. She hides memes and references in each video and she’s happy to see people in the comments calling them out. This led him directly to The Sopranos and its meme world of unfortunate malapropism and deadly interior decorators. The actors in the Sopranos those too you are very emotional, so that it can be easily adapted to new scenarios; Bethesda’s games, full of iconic glitchy areas, are an obvious pairing.

The videos, Pertinax says, are straightforward, but time-consuming: “First, come up with an idea, then hide the characters from the original scene, and then record the footage in Skyrim to fit camera angles. “

In many ways, what Pertinax is doing is no longer new. Machinima — cinematic productions made by fans of computer graphics engines in the 1990s — is an introduction. So are many other online fan creations. The memes, says Anastasia Denisova, a teacher at the Westminster School of Media and Communication, “improve the remix,” and in that sense come together The Sopranos and Skyrim isn’t that different from the “mashups that are common in Hollywood, on Broadway, and the British panto.” Internet culture constantly picks up conflicting references and mixes them up with a pleasing kind of chaos: just an hour before the two big ‘meme-verses” collide.

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