Reading Response #4 – Kelsey Mullins

According to the Michael Nitsche reading, the term Machinima is a combination of “machine” and “cinema.” Machinima is “animated filmmaking within a real-time virtual 3D environment.” Machinima originated in the context of 1980’s hacker culture, but has since grown into a much larger movement as video games and computers have advanced. Machinima often involves remediating the game, virtual puppetry, hyperrealism, and uebermediating film (mathematically simulated camera effects). Nitsche also suggests that most Machinima follows some type of narrative form. Moving forward, Machinima makers will have to find ways around copyrights if they want to commercialize their work.

Nitsche’s reading is relevant to the course because Machinima is a type of experimental cinema, and utilizes many of the same narrative structure and rules of composition as traditional filmmaking. Machinima is also an overlap of video games and cinema, two forms of media that have become more intertwined as technology advanced. Though it is easy to dismiss Machinima, there is a lot of thought and artistic value put into these productions.

I was surprised to read about Machinima’s long history and learn about how complex it really is. My experiance with Machinima was limited to watching the Red vs. Blue videos when they first went viral around 5 years ago, and I forgot about them until this reading. I was curious to see what Machinima looks like now, and I stumbled across a clip of Morgan Freeman narrating Super Mario. Even though the concept is a little silly, it is easy to see from this video how far Machinima and video games in general have come in the last few years. This reading changed the way I looked at Machinima, because I never thought about it in the context of film.