I have so incredibly much to share from the week of playing The World Peace Game that I’m thinking it may just have to come in installments. I think I will try to break it down to three parts.
Part 1: My overall impression of what The World Peace Game is
Part 2: The beautiful people that I got to play with and how their unique minds and hearts contributed to a mind blowing experience.
Part 3: My thoughts on how the game can exist without it’s founding father.
In October I was very privileged to attend a dinner organised by Bergen International Film Festival – BIFF (falls under the category “Love my job”). Here I met a very enthusiastic gaming man named Erik. BIFF is one of, if not THE, largest international documentary film festivals and one of the things I adore about them is that they go out to schools and show important documentaries and discuss them. Erik was one of the discussers and when he got a whif of my gaming interests he went in a trance like state talking about this great gaming documentary that they were talking about at these schools. I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced – it sounded way too classroomy for my taste. But I gave it a go – and admitidly I too was smitten! The documentary was called “World Peace and other 4th grade achievements”. Here’s a little teaser:
So it’s Sunday and I decided to completely ignore all obligations and tasks I should be doing and just lean back and let myself be inspired. Sometimes life needs a little receiving instead of always doing. And what do you know? I was so inspired that I have to share it here!
I took the time to see the Game Design challenge at GDC 2011 – and boy was it worth it. It’s an hour long and totally worth your time. The design challenge this year was to create a game that was also a religion or could become a religion. The designers were Jason Rohrer, John Romero and Jenova Chen – who are all amazing and definitely great thinkers about the expression of games.
A while back I read about this gorgeous room that was built at my local hospital. It’s a room for youths fighting cancer (plea
se note that they categorise youths as those aged between 15 and 35 – this pleased me so) to hang out and escape their everyday ordeals.
So for those who don’t know, I’m also blogging at another site in Norwegian called Spillpikene. I’ve blogged about them here before – but we didn’t start blogging together until spring 2009. Well – I say blogging – but I have to admit that I’ve been a slowpokey there as well, the girls have been good at keeping it alive.
Anyhow – I decided that it would be cool if Spillpikene and I started a drive to collect used games that have meant a lot to people in times of turmoil. Let’s face it – games help us escape – and by golly life needs escaping at times! And some games have helped us through hard ordeals and I wanted people to donate a game that helped them through a hard time. Of course loads of people thought this was a brilliant idea – but I have yet to receive a single one.
I cannot touch on the topic of Machinima without mentioning the music videos. It’s a storytelling format which the MTV-generation understands so well and they’re able to use their literacy of music videos to create their own. It’s a wonderful way to be a fan of both the games and the music. I have a soft spot for the music Machinima that doesn’t have a glossy feel – but rather amateur love.
I showed two very old music Machinima films. The first one is from a very well known machinima artist, who I’m sure wishes that I showed some of his newer stuff. B. Kiddo has been creating machinima for years and his artful skills in The Sims and Second Life are just awesome. But this Machinima film is one of the first I ever saw. I was so touhed by it. Although it isn’t smoothly made – it’s very emotional. I showed this to a girl friend of mine who thinks I’m totally weird for being interested in this stuff and would rather I focus my attention on finding a man and go shopping – and she welled up. Which of course gave me immense satisfaction!
The other music Machinima I played is actually Chinese and made Everquest. I stumbled upon it by chance. It is very simple – but the song is just so catchy I can’t help but love it! I’m told the song was a number one hit in China about 10 years ago (thanks KML) and I can understand why. I find myself humming the song several times a day and I enjoy simplisity of the Machinima film.
So the whole point with organising these Machinima evenings is to create a space for people to relax, share a beer and be introduced to what’s going on in the world of Machinima. There’s people who know what we’re on about and there’s people who are just fascinated by the medium and of course, those who are interested in New Media. I try to give an overview of what machinima is, but the more I learn about it – the more I realise that I’m just barely scratching the surface. So this year I decided to toss out objectivity and completely focus on what I wanted to focus on. I completely choked up, though. Suddenly I realised I had a microphone in my hand and people were listening to what I had to say – I haven’t talked publicly in a long long time! Definitely needed the practice. Luckily I’ve been giving a few lectures and presentations with work lately – so I’m starting to get it down again. So anyways – I’m going to squeeze in what I meant to say inbetween talking about the program of the evening. If you don’t recognise some of it – this is why.
So nuff said!
Machinima stands for machine + cinema + animation. If you think it doesn’t add up with the spelling, blame Hugh Hancock who created http://www.machinima.com. There’s also a story about a pub, a few beers and a cocktail napkin. But in essence it’s machinima stands for machine + cinema + animation. It was the intention to focus the evening on the “machine”-part. What fascinates me with machinima is how the artists are communicating with a machine or an artificial intelligence to create their own narrative or story. The machine I’m talking about is the computer game where the film is made. If a machinima film is made in World of Warcraft, the artist will have to communicate with the game and understand the game mechanics in order to tell their story.
The Free Culture Game is a game about the struggle between free culture and copyright. Create and defend the common knowledge from the vectorial class. Liberate the passive consumers from the domain of the market.
Ian Bogost notes Paolo Pedercini as describing this as a ‘poster game’ for Exgae. It’s a great new genre or concept. Lots of the flash games we see can be described as poster games. I’m quite amused by the concept.