When I first heard about Kevin Pereira’s upcoming series for Machinima Prime, “Player vs. Pain,” I imagined the series to be filmed in some dark, hideous dungeon where players go head to head in a battle of S&M endurance and mastering the controller. It turns out that “Player vs. Pain” is, in fact, a gauntlet of torture and video game proficiency, but without the dark, hideous dungeon. If Pereira tried to pitch this to his old home, the video gaming TV network G4, chances are that it wouldn’t have seen the light of day. However, this is YouTube, so the edgier the content, the better.
Pereira has been entertaining his fans through new media since his high school days when he hosted an internet radio show called “Pointless Audio” where he was known for his various prank phone calls. He moved to Los Angeles from the Bay Area in 2002 to work as a production assistant for G4. There, he quickly went up the ranks to become the host of the prominent live series “Attack of the Show!” in 2005, co-hosting with Sarah Lane, Olivia Munn and finally, Candace Bailey.
Since leaving “Attack of the Show!” last Summer, Pereira has focused on building his production company Super Creative and producing content for YouTube, including his new series “Player vs. Pain.” We caught up with the torturer-in-chief at Machinima’s office to talk about his new web series, what life is like after “Attack of the Show” and how he spends his Sundays.
For the interview in video format, please go to the last page.
“Player vs. Pain” — that title scares me. Tell me about your new web series.
Kevin Pereira: “Player vs. Pain” is an awesome new web series that Super Creative is doing with Machinima. It’s a very simple concept: two gamers playing a videogame against each other while being tortured. This is the gamers [begins miming]: they’re playing, and then I don’t know how to do the tort — that is not appropriate, censor that. I don’t know how to do the torture with my hands. But the thing is they’re playing video games while being tortured, so what does that mean? That means we’ve got guys on waxing tables playing “Tetris,” and when someone clears five lines they lose a “Tetris”-shaped strip out of their hairy backs and/or thighs or asses.
Now how do you come up with the concepts for torture in each episode?
Well actually, all of the guys at Super Creative we actually meet at an S&M dungeon in downtown Los Angeles, and so right away we knew that okay, we love flogs, we love paddles, we love leather, we love studs — how can we get someone else to pay for us to wear this gear and to hit each other with it? And so we came to Machinima, we pitched them on the idea — turns out they’re crazy freaks as well — and so lo and behold we’re now doing tortuous things, so waxing was a no-brainer; gamers are a pretty hairy sort. The Wii tennis with tennis ball launchers, firing 80-mile-an-hour tennis balls at your genitals — that was just random inspiration. The being flogged while playing “Mortal Kombat” and being shocked with collars, again that harkens back to our days of meeting in seedy clubs. I think the one that surprised us the most was the paintball while playing “Halo.” We had two gamers playing “Halo” death match against each other, and professional paintball rifle guys behind the cameras, and they would just unload every time you got killed in the game. And of all the torture — I mean, people get shot with paintballs everyday; they do it for sport, they do it for fun — but this was the only torture that ended up with people on the ground huddled over themselves crying actually in pain.
How will the S&M community react to this?
Oh, they love it! I mean, we were big champs in the scene to begin with, but now they’re happy that — it’s sort of that “one of us,” you know. “One of us” has made good, so my parents aren’t proud of us but Mistress January is super thrilled.
That’s all that matters. What would you say is your favorite torture scene out of all the episodes you’ve done?
You know, I think we did like 12 episodes, and we repeated some of the tortures because they were really, really fun. There is a great moment where these two very attractive female gamers were playing “Rock Band” against each other — you had me at hello, right? Like I’ll watch that web video — I don’t care what it is; there are two gorgeous women playing “Rock Band — however, we decided to up the ante and we put electric stim pads on their arms and on some of their legs at times so we could shock them. It’s that thing in therapy that will make your arm sort of quake a little bit, and so they were getting shocked so hard that they were dropping the “Rock Band” controllers, and every time they’d miss a serious note or they dropped their controller, a dominatrix would be behind them hitting them with a paddle or flogging them. And so afterwards they were just covered in — I mean, they looked like Courtney Love from the waist down — it was just welts and bruises and sadness. It was amazing.
Has anyone been close to being hospitalized in any of your web series?
No. All kidding aside, the torture aspect of the show — while our gamers are experiencing pain — most of them actually enjoyed it, and that doesn’t mean that they’re masochistic by any stretch. I mean they were sort of in it to prove that they could take that punishment, and there was this playful one-upsmanship between each other, but we were very, very safe. We had EMTs on site, everything was tested thoroughly, we knew that nobody should be put under any unnecessary harm. Like I said, the only punishment where someone was actually really, really hurt or experienced any real pain was when they took a paintball to a very sensitive region during “Halo,” so thankfully, lawsuits pending! Everybody had a good time, smiles and laughs, nobody got hurt! Nobody!