Player Narrative, Machinima, and Modding- Micro Essay #3- WK 14

Allison Figueroa Rojas

Carolyn Jong

April 11th 2015

While reading “Real-time preferences: Machinima and Game studies,” by Henry Lowood, I was enlightened to know that the bases of this phenomenon is really to learn more about the meaning players attach to play and how interesting and aesthetically engaging this from of media art is. The subsection titled ‘Game-based Filmmaking and New Game Cultures’ was key for me because as an avid film watcher and film student this notion of bringing together video game which I’ve recently been getting into more and more, fascinated me. The concept of merging   film and animation with a game technology platfrom is a well constructed medium. There have been many film inspired and based on video, for example “Gamer” which is a science fiction film about online gamers controlling humans in the “utimate game,” testing the performance of the online player and transferring it to the fates of those who are on the field; once the online individuals character dies so does the person in real life a darker end because if your online player isn’t very good at combat then your finished. Films based on video games like Resident Evil, a survival horror third-person shooter game created  Japanese gamer developer Shinji Mikamiand remade into film by Paul W.S. Anderson. A series of films I’ve personally loved due to the strong female lead are great examples of how games inspire film, though with big box office numbers they bring in the mainstream audience, the films have received criticism for being over rated or not staying true to the origins of the game, but there is so much one can do to keep everyone happy.

Moreover in game-based film making the notion as Lowood mentions, that players can transform themselves into actors, directors and even “cameras” to make movies (556). This gives players from all over the world that may not have the economic means to produce big projects to get exposure and show off their skills as well as add their personal take and have fun with the tech availability, and this can all be done from home. This also opens up a community based culture that gives support and attention to new projects and fresh talent thus forming virtual communities that incorporate game tech and people whether in your city or across the world. Its a manner for story-telling which is the core of Machinima, this also leads to modding. Something i wasn’t very familiar with until i read about it and watched videos online to get a sense of what it was all about. Later in class we spoke about how modding communities and teams are “pools of talent” that don’t get paid for the work they do but rather get show cased through the online communities but also give them a step in, a way to build portfolios and be recognized for the work they do. Although it raises the question of “when do these individuals get compensated for their work?” They may not instantly get the compensation deserved for the time and skill that was put into the project they set out to make but Lowood made a point that many admire the spectatorship not to say that they can survive by these means but its the desire to share skills that became the cornerstone of the creation of a player community. Communities like Twitch where players do get paid is another from players get exposure and do get compensation with live streaming players can have millions of followers and subscribe to them, this isn’t necessarily in the same line as modding or Machinima but it’s just an example of the type of communities out there. Where an individual wants to get noticed if they want a step in the industry door or just want the “high performance play” its a public space where one can connect with others and ultimately everyone wants to share their creations or experience these available developments.

Works cited:

Lowood, Henry. “Real-Time Performance: Machinima and game studies.” iDMAa Journal 2.1 (2005): 10-17. http://idmaa.org/?post_type=journalarticle&p=586

Resident Evil.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.11 April 2015. web April 11th 2015. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil>

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