Armed with a wine glass, a self-aware sense of entitlement and a golden radio voice, EmceeProphIt (Mark C. Stephens) is host to a series called PAHNalysis with a very bizarre topic: Deconstructing symbolism and subtext in Video Games. He's known to treat his topics seriously while still being able to poke fun at them, all while constantly emphasizing the irony of a goofy, barely adult college student making educational videos on fiction and symbolism on the internet. Just For Fun, no less.
He began his quest for knowledge in summer of 2012 with an experimental analysis of Ocarina of Time, discussing its themes of aging, mortality, unity and the power music had to unite cultures. After he earned a small following from that series, he continued the show, discussing topics like duality in games, No More Heroes' Symbolism, the feminist undertones of Samus Aran, and the meaning of Minecraft's Ending.
He attempts to blend humor, education, nostalgia and analysis in order to keep people's attention. His viewers often praise the sheer uniqueness of his subject matter and the fact that he makes the topics approachable without dumbing them down. His biggest gimmick is his false pretentiousness; the P.A.H.N. in PAHNalysis is supposedly an acronym for Pretentious Analysis of Humble Nintendo games, alluding to the self-aware humor of his videos.
There have been some rumors of him joining a website, but for now he's just on YouTube. He's fairly well known on The Escapist User Review Forum, and his video on Duality in Video Games was the first ever featured Community Review for the website. Emcee was also one half of the Let's Play duo, Modestly ProphItic.
EmceeProphIt's Videos provide examples of:
- Arc Words: "You shouldn't give death a meaning", or "Death shouldn't always be taken seriously", and variations there of. Started off in the second part of the No More Heroes review, eventually building to an implication that violence in media and Majora's Mask are the next topics up for discussion on the show.
- Badass Beard: Several forum goers and viewers point out Emcee's unique face fuzz.
- Bait-and-Switch: No two episodes follow the same formula. His No More Heroes analysis takes a very dark and philosophical turn by the conclusion, even though the first episode on No More Heroes is widely considered to be his funniest thus far.
- Characterization Marches On: EmceeProphIt has put a bit less emphasis on the wine glasses and pretense of stuffiness as the show has progressed, revealing a snarky, sarcastic commentator who is certainly open-minded, but never afraid to criticize. He still presents the image of false-classiness, but there's more to the persona nowadays.
- Hidden Depths: Looking at how his videos begin (usually with a joke), you'd never know how dark some of the subtext he covers can get. His tone of voice and behavior generally changes to suit the mood of the scene he's analyzing. He reversed this in his Duality video, which had a very dark opening narration, but was mostly a light-hearted video.
- For Mark himself, he was a rapper a few years ago with a small following on Screwattack.com. He hasn't made any new music recently. He still went by EmceeProphIt back then. He's certainly far more known as a journalist now.
- Hilarious Outtakes: He made a blooper reel comprised of mistakes from the Ocarina of Time videos. They're pretty funny, if not embarrassing.
- Meaningful Name: The name 'Emcee' could mean several things: A reference to his rapping, his hosting abilities, or just the fact that his first two initials are M. C.
- Pilot: His Ocarina of Time series. He got into the swing of things by the conclusion, a lengthy video with much smoother editing and sound quality than his previous efforts. At the end he finally stated he was going to continue analyzing games, acknowledging that the show was slowly growing an audience.
- Recursive Acronym: The first "A" in "PAHNnalysis" stands for "Analysis". Overlaps with Department of Redundancy Department.
- Sarcasm Mode: Frequently employed. His reaction to Sensei's tragic demise (and all the snark text) in No More Heroes being a prime example.
- Tone Shift: His videos follow this format; when the game get's dark, so does his tone of voice. He's less likely to joke around when things take a turn for the worse. But not always.
- Younger Than They Look: An amusing Real Life example. Stephens does NOT look like he's only 21 years old.
- But I Digress: A fairly often used tactic. Just a few examples of resulting digression are; attempts to flesh out metaphors, provide random info, and provide comic relief.