Have you ever been playing a video game, and you experience something a bit…funky? Something perfectly normal in the game world but would be ridiculous to apply to real life?
Perhaps the path is blocked by a tiny tree branch, making it utterly impassable? Or maybe you’ve noticed how the fate of World War II seems to rest entirely on your shoulders because your commanding officer seems to give only you the objectives to complete? Or that super-secret temple that’s supposed to have been lost for generations is actually really easy to find?
Or maybe you’ve never really thought about it at all!Regardless, Viva La Dirt League (VLDL) takes all of that and more, turning video game concepts into live-action skits to show the absurdities applied to real life. And sometimes they shine a spotlight on real-life absurdities, too.
Over the years, VLDL has done a great many skits on a variety of topics, but they also have a few relatively constant features, too:
Bored is a series of sketches about a small group of employees who run a computer store called Playtech. Among these staff members are Rowan, Alan, Adam and Ellie, all of whom come with unique and often conflicting personalities. They deal with argumentative customers, strange workplace rules and policies, weird manager antics and more.
Epic NPC Man explores all the quirks of the role-playing game genre and takes after popular games such as Skyrim and The Witcher. It follows a multitude of players as they adventure through the game’s campaign, but its primary focus is on Greg the Garlic Farmer, a sentient non-playable character (NPC) who must witness and deal with all the strange happenings that occur in the humble town of Honeywood. VLDL also has a series of skits titled FPS Logic, where they make fun of strange things related to war-based games like Call of Duty.
In addition, the channel has made skits on a variety of specific games as well, their most prominent being a battle royale game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). Other games they’ve created sketches on include Dark Souls, Red Dead Redemption, Apex Legends and moreThey’ve recently started up a new series of sketches about the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, as well.
Finally, they also upload smaller skits on a variety of real-world topics, including a series called Bad Therapist and videos on restaurant habits or trends, such as singing “Happy Birthday” to diners or waiters who memorize orders instead of writing them down.
VLDL accentuates the truth of both video games and real life: Sometimes, things are just weird, and it’s okay to laugh about them. Why is it so difficult to maintain a good reputation in a video game? Why are some tiny items packaged in such large containers? Why doessmacking the side of a computer fix it, and what does it mean when you need to remove cookies from it?
A lot of times, we just accept these things as part of the experience. Sometimes, they may do nothing more than annoy us. But VLDL helps us to realize that instead of letting it bother us, we can laugh about it instead.
However, real life and video games both can have heavy themes and problematic content, and VLDL doesn’t shy away from addressing those either.
In the Bored series, for instance, Rowan is an angry utilitarian manager who isn’t afraid to scream profanities at his employees. In skits about Red Dead Redemption, a game about cowboys in the Wild West, people are shot and killed—though it’s never more graphic that a spurt of red mist. In other skits, people are stabbed or beheaded.
Heavy profanity is rampant in the skits, including the s-word and “h—.” God’s name is misused in some skits, the middle finger is used and, while the f-word is typically bleeped out, it makes appearances at other times. Words such as “d–k” and “t-ts” are used in skits as well. In a skit about player usernames, the NPC character Greg must pronounce explicit names.
There’s also occasional sexual innuendos and references. In a skit where male characters use an app that shows what they’d look like if they were female, they comment on whether or not they’d sleep with one another. A skit shows Alan fixing a virus on a teenage boy’s computer that occurred due to the boy visiting pornographic websites, and the boy’s desktop background is of an anime girl in a bikini. Occasionally, the male actors are seen in their underwear.
Even spiritual magic can make an occasional appearance. In a parody of rude consumers named Karen, for instance, staff members Adam, Rowan and Alan banish them through a spell, calling them “spawns of Satan,” and the three Karens turn into black smoke and dissipate.
Viva La Dirt League makes fun of the peculiar in both real life and in video games, and they help us to laugh about being subjected to these strange circumstances. But while their skits effectively poke, prod and expand upon these topics, viewers should be aware that their content contains many adult themes, and swearing is frequent within their videos.
Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. His favorite movie is La La Land.