Movie Thought: You Possess to STOP Scrolling! (Shorts Wars)

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Please MatPat, do a theory on shorts wars. MatPat needs to take a look at the YouTubeshorts ARG. There is now a ARG in… This might be part of a well known… Shorts wars… (kerfuffle of voices)Okay, okay, I get it. We're doing the shorts war. Wait, it just ended? Dammit.

Hello Internet! Welcome to Film Film Film Theory Theory. The show that just wants you to subsub sub sub sub sub subscribe. Hmm, strange. The overwhelming glitchy-ness seems toindicate that we're covering an ARG today. And not just any ARG. This one is found right hereon the shores of Specifically,we're talking about the Shorts Wars, an ARG staring a variety of differentshorts-centric channels; including Bundun,.

Danno Cal Drawings,Joe Caine, RoyalPear, Phaleur, and the biggest of them all,at least according to subscribership, Jonny RaZeR. Now,if you're not familiar with the last one, it's likely that you're familiarwith the fallout of his work. Remember a few months ago,when everyone suddenly became very invested in the Waffle Housefinding itself a new host? Well, that was the brainchild of Mr. Bad Ideas, Jonny RaZeR himself. And now he and that crew of other creatorsare at it again.

Or not really them. Rather, it's an army of clonesreplacing them. Regardless, they're up to some new tricks,and it's up to us to figure out what's going on. Like Iwas saying, it's up to us to come around a bit later in the process to recap what happened, put the pieces together,and THEN solve what's going on. *whispering* Thanks, guysfor recognizing that daily lore drops are really hardfor us to cover in real time.

Now if all of this is new to you,then I recommend you go to check out their channels, linksfor all of them are down there in the description below. Because what this group has created overthe past month is one of the most fun uses of YouTube that I've seen happenin a long, long time. This thing spans over 100 shorts, livestreams, multiple hidden, unlisted videos. And let's not forget the websitethat's no longer available. So go, hunt around, see what you're able to put togetherand make sure you subscribe to them.

Since you're probably goingto want to be there when they inevitably do a seasontwo of this thing. So let's do what they openly acknowledgethat we do best and give you the gist of what happened,what you may have missed along the way, and then predictwhat season two has got in store. Grab your QR codes and fishing polesloyal theorists, because today we're untangling the mysteryof the shorts war ARG. Let's just start back at the beginning,how this whole thing kicked off. The ball got rollingwhen Jonny RaZeR posted.

A short to his channel that at firstdidn't seem all that out of the ordinary. You got Jonnytelling a story in front of a green screen with some Minecraft parkour playing aroundin the background, classic shorts stuff. But then the video glitches out,with the QR code briefly flashing on screenbefore returning to normal. Scanning the QR code redirectsyou to an unlisted video called Message.mp4 featuring a masked manwith a voice filter. This ominous bad guygoes by a lot of different names across the fan community,but we're going to be calling him.

The Boss for this video. And right off the bat,The Boss makes his opinions about YouTube shorts and specificallytheir creators quite clear. During this villain monologue, we see eight channels flash upacross the screen: Jonny RaZer, Mogswamp, RoyalPear, Joe Caine, Danno Cal Drawings,knsplash, Bundun and Phaleur. The boss ends up giving these creatorsan ultimatum. They need to stop making shorts within the next weekor they will be, quote unquote, replaced.

That right there, that is ominous. Since the ARG started on July 16th, that meant that they only haduntil July 23rd, one week later, to stop. And as it turns out, two of the creators,Mogswamp and knsplash actually took the message to heart. I will. That was totally a threat. But since those two compliedwith the boss's orders, they are not part of the story from that point forward,at least for this particular season.

This then leaves our main six creators. And let's just say by the end of thatfirst week, they were probably wishing they'd heeded the warnings. Begun, the shorts wars have. Over the next week, some oddities start plaguing the remaining six creatorsas their videos roll out. What kind of odditiesare we talking about? Well, you'll be watching a Phaleur videowhen all of a sudden you see Jonny RaZeR Gangnamstyling throughout the frame.

In fact, across all the channels, we start to see these sorts of crossoverglitches. What's more,if you look at the actual content of these videos,a common theme starts to develop. All of a sudden, these creators can't stop talkingabout clones, almost like they're worried about being replaced. But believe it or not,that wasn't even the strangest thing to start happening in the videos.

A bunch of the shorts startedhiding this random string of 11 characters in their videos, which immediatelygot my theorist senses a-tingling. Normallythis would be where we whip out our Caesar ciphers or decoder rings,but here there's no need. Thanks to working on YouTube longer than most of the audiencewatching it's been alive, I instantly recognized this as a YouTubevideo ID. So I slapped it into a URL and was taken tothis unlisted video called Clone_VPN.mp4.

Hmmm, clone. There's that word again. Anyway, at firstthis doesn't seem so different from the millions of other ads for VPNsthat you see across YouTube already. You get it, we get it. We've all seen a billionVPN ad reads at this point. We also get a list of the Clone VPN partners,which features a lot of the people.

That were expresslycalled out by the boss. But then we get to this feature right herethat truly sets clone VPN apart. And let me tell you, we're not talkingabout unlocking international streaming rightsthat aren't available in your country. Clones, disappearing and reappearing,slight but unnoticeable changes. Yeah,the narrative is clearly forming here. The Boss is going to somehow clone and replace these YouTube shorts creatorsthrough Clone VPN. Now the only question is: how?.

Well, I'm going to tell you the how in a minute,but before that, I can tell you the how they could have avoidedthis threat entirely, if only the shorts creators had usedthe sponsor for today's video: Incogni. Yeah, step aside there Clone VPN,we've got a real sponsor in the house. Tell me if this one sounds familiar. The other weekI was out at the grocery store stocking up on a gallon sized jug of DietCoke, and I signed up for their loyalty card to get a discount.

I thought that I could trust the store,and yet, lo and behold, I almost immediately started getting allthese spammy emails and scam phone calls. Another timeI was searching up information about Mattel for our Barbie videothat we just released. And now all the ads that I seeeverywhere are Amazon links to Hot Wheels and Ken Dolls. This happensbecause in the United States, it's totally legal for companiesto track, collect and sell your personal datawithout you knowing anything about it.

And it's not just your emailand shopping habits that these corporationsare getting a hold of. It is a lot of your private informationas well, stuff that you do not want to get out into the public. We're talking your full name,your home address, your phone number, your relatives,aliases, education, employment, history. Heck, even your Social Security number. There is no world where they need to knowany of that stuff. The good news hereis that you have the right to request.

That these data brokersdelete your information. That wayyou can sleep safe and sound at night knowing that you're not going to geta random phone call at midnight trying to sell youthe latest Barbie Malibu Dream Mansion. The downside to everything though, it might take you actual real yearsto get all your info scrubbed clean. Incogni though, can help you with that. While services like VPNs are defensive,trying to keep your info out of the hands of these corporations.

Incogni actually goes on the offense. They're going to be your representativeand track down the brokers who are actively sellingyour personal information out there, and then they demand that they leaveyou alone. Delete your stuff from the system. Your personal informationis being bought and sold and you are getting nothing out of itexcept a nuisance. It's time to change that.And Incogni is the key to help. Let me tell you,after signing up for their service.

To test out for myself,I saw the difference overnight. Gone were all the obnoxious spam emailsthat I was getting and as far as phone callsgo, I don't get any. Spam or otherwise. Which is exactly the way it should be. If you want to protect your data today,go to and use the code FILMTHEORYto get 60% off an annual Incogni plan. Again that's then use the code FILMTHEORY. Or, you know,you can just skip all that hassle.

And just go down to the topline of the description. Thanks again to Incognifor sponsoring this video and keeping my personal informationout of the Boss's hands. And now, let's hop back to the shortswars. See, when you'redealing with malicious A.I. or evil VPN program, in order for it to harm you or your computer,you need to let it in, so to speak. Viruses operate on vampire rules. They have to be invitedin by running a program.

Or clicking a bad link or something. Well, that's exactly what all these shortscreators did. On July 20th, RoyalPear uploaded a shortwith another hidden video ID. Here we see the shorts creators findingan email in their inbox from Clone VPN, reaching out for a sponsorship deal. They're offered a crisp $20,000for an ad read and wanting to secure the bag,they each click a not so suspicious link. Nothing can possibly go wrong from that,right? Somehow this allows the Bossto access their computers.

And use their online identitiesas a base to clone them. How can we be sure about this? Well, everyone accepts the clone VPN dealexcept for one of them: Joe Caine. Yep. The Internet's favorite shortsspeed running Swede turns down the deal, and as you can tell by the textthat flashes across the screen as he closes the email,the boss ain't too happy about it, but the rest of his masterplan is proceeding on schedule. You see, on July 22nd, the daybefore the boss's ultimatum comes due, I found QR codes hidden in JonnyRaZeR and Danno’s channels that take us to.

An unlisted video that shows usexactly how the clone sausage gets made. We find ourselves in some sortof scientific facility, and one by one, information about each YouTuberis uploaded into some strange machine. The computer powers upand using all the data a literal clone of the creatorsis generated in the physical world. It's here that we seethat the boss is true to his word: both the good and the bad.Both Mogswamp and knsplash aren't cloned because they listened to the bossand stopped making shorts while the others are cloned, though,some turn out better than others.

Jonny RaZeR, Phaleur and Bundun'sclones are made without an issue. But during the cloning processfor RoyalPear, there's an ERROR R34that appears on the screen of the machine. And it's at this pointthat the people on team theorist that aren't familiarwith the rules of the internet realized that they probably shouldn'tbe googling RoyalPear R34. Masterful troll there guys. Anyway,that error causes the clone machine to create a malformed clone of RoyalPear’snormal Tropius design.

The final clone to be made in the machineis Danno’s Channel's character, Riggy. Interestingly, since the Riggy characterwas the one who clicked the sponsorship link on behalf of Danno the creator, he'sthe one who got himself cloned. However, due to his giant bunny ears and long monkey tail,the machine hilariously can't figure out what species he's meant to beand the machine partially blows up. But not before spitting out a strangelooking clone of Riggy, just without the tail. As the 23rd rolls aroundand the boss's deadline passes,.

The clones are deployedto the various channels and we see their violent takeoverin some comically over-the-top yet still YouTube monetization friendlyviolence. Jonny RaZeR's clone shootshis original seven times in the chest. Bundun is kidnaped under the table mid video. While Riggy, Phaleur and RoyalPear’sclones are taken away to some unknown fate. But for all the creators,the results are the same. Each of the new clonecreators uploads an ad for Clone VPN,.

All of which are basically carbon copiesof the same thing. It's almost likethey're all clones of each other. So basically this gives us a glimpseof what happens when the boss wins. The clones are just shoveling outcontent now. They're recycling scripts,they're reusing ideas, they're copying one anotherin an endless loop of video sludge. What's even worse, though, is thata new date's being seen in the background to some of the newly uploaded shortspointing to July 30th. This is the day where.

All the original creators will be killedand the clone invasion will be complete. So, is that it? Is all hope lost for these shorts creatorsas these half rate clones come in and just take over the content?Thankfully, no. The O.G. creators are fighting backfrom the inside. All through the videos, they leave notessaying that they're still alive. With Jonny RaZeR somehowsurviving being shot seven times. Now he himself is hatching a planbehind the scenes to get into the facility and save the day using a special flashdrive that he somehow magically obtained.

How? Don't ask, at least not yet. But the clock is ticking. They don't have much time beforeJuly 30th comes to pass, and many of the creators are killedfor good. Namely, both RoyalPear and Riggy are in the most immediate dangeras both are currently being held in the clone VPN facility. But they're not going to take it lyingdown. On July 29th,.

Danno uploaded a short where clone Riggyfinally goes off the deep end. A QR code is hiddenat the end of this one, leading us to a then-unlisted video titledWhereDidRiggyGo.mp4. Here we see both Riggy and Pearbeing interrogated by their clones. But Riggy is able to escape,free Pear and book it towards an exit. Interestingly, the end card of this oneactually takes us to another video with audio of a conversationbetween clone Riggy and the Boss. And let's just say that the boss man is not happywith RoyalPear and Riggy's escape.

And we learn that the two found the facility's control roomwhile exiting the building. Realizing that they're PNG Tubersand therefore two dimensional, Riggy and Pear slip through the doorand they see that the Boss’s plan is way bigger than they ever realized. Yep. The boss's big planis to use his VPN sponsorship to clone every short's tuber and replace themwith just garbage content. And given how widespread VPN sponsorshipsare, I’m guessing he's going to be ableto get every single YouTuber.

On the platform in less than a month. But thankfully, there's a wayto stop his plan once and for all. If they pull all the codes together anduse the energy to overload the machine, they can use that power to create a virusthat'll knock out Clone VPN forever. What then, is the code? Well, here's where things get really cool. Remember when all the clones did those sponsorship videos backwhen they first took over? Well, each video ends with a promo codethat features.

2 to 3 characters, their name,and then a number 1 to 5. Now, I saw this and knewit had to mean something. By removing the creator namesand then ordering what's left by those numbers at the end.You get this. Now surprisingly,that isn't a YouTube video ID, even though it'sthe same length and format. So I assumed that it was some sort of a code or a cipher,but that also didn't work. We just didn'thave all the information at the time.

This is what that code is for. It was yet another masterful troll.And I've got to admit, this time. This time they definitely got me.But there's a problem. They need someone on the outsideto enter the code. Thankfully, they remember thatJoe Caine refused the deal and hasn't been captured. Scanning the QR code that pops up onscreen sends us to another secret video where Joe puts the code into the CloneVPN website, which lets Riggy and Pear createthe virus, a virus that just so happens.

To teleportinto the possession of Jonny RaZeR. Yup. That's where he got the drive from. A factthat the boss realizes in real time. Though we don't actually see it happen,RaZeR uploads the virus, which then allowseach of the creators to have a 1v1 battle against their clones to regain controland end this saga once and for all. With the creators victorious, we’retreated to a post-credits scene where the Boss and cloneRiggy vow to come back. And then it's herethat we get our big twist ending.

The flannel. Jonny RaZeR was The Boss the entire time. No, that's not possible. But, but no, really,that's literally not possible. Right? If Jonny was the onewho uploaded the virus and saved the day,that means that he played an integral part in his own plan failing? Doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. I mean, sure, maybe you could argue.

That Riggy did the smart thingand went to the server room by himself. But this post ARG Q&Astream seems to argue otherwise. Even if we ignore these non-canonlive streams. In the logic of the show,Jonny can't be the big boss. Remember earlier, when The Boss said this? It doesn't make sensewhy he'd both pretend to hate RaZeR and then openly admit that he's RaZeRin the very next scene. So no,this man can't be the real Jonny RaZeR. So is it a clone then?.

Jonny's clone is. Yeah, he's not having the best time. So if The Boss is neitherthe real or clone version of Jonny RaZeR, then who is he? A third clone? PewDiePie? Me? This is where I have to wavethe white flag, at least for now. I don't think there's quiteenough information out there to solve that mystery just yet, and I suspectthat The Boss's identity will be revealed when Shorts War has its season two,which I, for one, am totally stoked for.

I got to say, this is got to be one of the coolest ARGsthat I've seen happen across YouTube. And what's more,I believe the story that these creators told has a lot more meaningthan just a bunch of clones taking over. See, while watching this, I kept comingback to the question, What's the point? And I don't mean that in a harsh, like,‘why do they make this?’ sort of way. No, I wanted to know what theme they weretrying to communicate through all this. And I believe that we find that inthe entire concept of this thing, Clones. The story of thisfirst season of the Shorts.

War is a commentaryon cloned content across the Internet. I'm sure you've seen these sorts of thingsaround before. EitherYouTube channels or Tiktoks or whatever will just rip content from other websitesand re-upload them trying to make a quick buck off of someone else's work. It's a problem that we here at theoristhave to deal with all the time, and it's something that JonnyRaZeR himself even talked about before the Shorts War ARG began. This, I believe, iswhat sparked the whole idea of ARG.

See, the clones that we see in the series could never truly replace the creatorsbecause they aren't those creators. Riggy actuallysums it up perfectly in one of his shorts. Those real world clone Tik Tok accountsmight be able to steal and upload videos, but they're never going to bethose creators. A person's work is a culminationof their own experiences and insights, their successesand their failures all wrapped up into a personwith their own thoughts and feelings. And in the story,I think that the clones realize this,.

Or at least some of them do,like RoyalPear’s clone. During one of his shorts,he seems to have second thoughts about all the mindless creation of contentthat's now his life. And later, as he's interrogating the realRoyalPear, the clone feels bad about it. He's only doing it because his boss, the algorithmthat needs content, is demanding it. But here's the thing,there's another path in all of this. You can take the content of a creatorthat you love and do your own pass. You can use it as inspirationto create your own art.

Even if it's similar to the peoplewho inspired you, it'll be uniquely yours because you're the one who made it. And here's the spoiler alertNothing is ever wholly original anymore. I mean, Mozart and Da Vinci didn'tcreate their own works in a vacuum. They were inspired by what they enjoyedlooking at and listening to. Your favorite YouTubers, exactly the same. Here's Jonny RaZeR's thoughtsbefore they started the ARG. Couldn't have said it better myselfJonny. I was pretty darn inspiredby all of your collective work.

Onward to season two, my friends. But hey! That's just a theory. A FILM THEORY! aaaaaaaand cut.

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