Thoughts on analysing Machinima – part 1

I’m not a big fan of the notion that machinima will replace the art of animation. Machinima is something completely different, in my opinion. Like Henry Lowood says:

“It is important to recall that the origins of machinima lie not in content production, but in gameplay” (Lowood, 2006 in Video Games and Art)

It is something that has evolved from high-performance gameplay to brilliant meaningful content, but the essence is still gameplay. The ability to master a game so well that you can bend it and form it into your own mold of content, your own story, your own expression.

Dr. Lowood again:

“Depicting machinima as high-performance play stems from its emergence from inter-relationships of play, spectatorship, technical virtuosity and storytelling in computer games. Each of these factors played a role in defining the practices of machinima as practices of game performance.”(Lowood, 2006, Video Games and Art)

So how should we go about deconstructed machinima, finding it’s meaning, it’s aura – it’s true art?

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Steampunk in Second Life

It’s such a long time since I’ve been in Second Life – I haven’t even installed it on my current computer.
Cory Doctorow (@BoingBoing) shares a video of a Steampunk island, called New Babbage and this is reason enough for me to hit the install button right away.

I’m curious, though. The steampunk city is supposed to be “bringing together the combined interests of Steampunks from around the world to a place they can roleplay and be creative” – I get the creative – because I adore steampunk art – but how do they roleplay? What’s steampunk roleplaying? Definitely something to check out – I think!

Alice

Some day I will reveal my Alice in Wonderland fascination here – but for now I give you this spectacular machinima by Jovial Productions. I mean – by golly! It’s made with The Sims – how? – I honestly don’t understand it! I’ve always liked Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams, as well – so this was just a win win for me! I love it!

Machinima, copyright and schools

I had an interesting phone conversation the other day.

There’s an organisation that promotes art to schools here in Norway, Kunst i Skolen. It’s completely new to me, but it’s existed since 1948 (way to go Norway!). So I’m still kinda dazed about this – but from what I can gather, they have these travelling exhibitions for schools (and I think members – although, I’m not sure if the schools need to be members). They’ve got loads of great stuff to offer, including CD-roms of collections and art for teaching purposes.

So why am I getting into this?

I was asked on Tuesday if I could put together a DVD of some Machinima films and I also offered to write a little summary of what machinima is. Now – ofcourse I’m having difficulty. Since they’re an official organisation they need all the copyright details to be in order – and I’m struggling. The game companies certainly have come around the last couple of years – but the music industry – hell no. So when trying to present an art that’s all about reproduction of media – fan art – remediation – or whatever we’re calling it these day – what to do?

It’s frustrating, and in my opinion needless, ridiculous and depriving so many of some great art. But I take comfort that they can be found online – which is just another rant waiting to burst out of me soon – but another time.

Anyhoo – I’m in desperate need of machinima with copyright issues in order. I have to play catch-up on my machinima copyright laws, but if memory serves me right Blizzard and Microsoft are fair – leaving it up to the artist as long as they don’t make any money off it. I’m unsure about The Sims, though, but I’m thinking they’ll be alright. What about Take 2?

Please let me know if you have any good ideas and machinima to offer.

I have a time limit on this that’s insane – I basically need to send this in the post on Monday. But how could I refuse? Machinima in schools? Are you kidding me?! I love it!

48 Hour Film Project comes to Second Life


This is great! The 48 Hour Film Project is launched in Second Life January 11, 2008. I’ve gotta admit that I’m kinda tempted to try it myself – although I’m not at all familiar with Second Life – gorr – think it’s been 6 months since I was there actually! But this is the kinda stuff that makes Second Life fun and brilliant!

I’ve already started picking out Second Life machinima I want to show on yet another machinima night. They are just so freakin’ good! But last time – I wanted to keep Second Life out of the equation because they don’t really represent the same kind of gameplay as expression I was shooting for last time. The Second Life machinima scene is just in a league of their own! There’s so much great stuff being created there! I look forward to at least see the entries here!

via Millions of Us

Media Coverage


Marianne Westerlund wrote a great piece for Bergens Tidende, the Thursday paper – unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere online – which is a real bummer really. I asked most of the people who had showed up if they’d read it, but most shook their head and told me they never read the paper version anymore. Well – there’s some food for thought! But she wrote a great article where she had interviewed quite a few machinima artists about their art, which was just really really interesting. There’s also an interview with me – hehe – it was weird seeing the words “Says Linn Søvig while shaking her head”. But really cool as well – she’s a great journalist and I hope to read much much more of her stuff in the future!

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2 Films that didn’t make it

We never really had the opportunity to run through the whole program before the machinima night (my fault because I have to work during the day) – so I spontaneously cut 2 films from the program.

I already knew that we had too many films and that I would have to limit my time on the microphone. I wanted the films to speak for themselves – but then again – I have so much to say about these films. But in the end I was glad – because it turns out that I still get nervous with a microphone and specially when the room is filled with sceptics and people I admire so incredibly much. But I’ll get into that more later.

There was just too much, so I had to cut

Tristan Pope’s ‘Not Just Another Love Story’

Part 1

This one hurt me the most. Because I was talking to some folks after who started discussing why there weren’t any political machinima – and this was my example of that – but oh well! Another time.