Machinima – Saving us from a Single Story

 

Machinima is a recently developed technique in which video games are used to “act out” movie scenes. This “platform” for lack of a better term, is easily accessible with very low barriers to entry. As a result, movie making has been largely democratized, and can be used for a variety of purposes. This medium first got significant attention when “French Democracy” was released. This homemade movie drew the spotlight on the terribly unjust conditions in France. Machinima’s biggest affordances are its accessibility and versatility. By drawing from a wide variety of different games, creators are able to craft remarkably diverse stories. For better or for worse, this affordance is also machinima’s greatest weakness. The game based nature of this genre lends itself primarily to non serious works. There are countless seemingly trivial examples that highlight this point. “Diggy Diggy Hole” is a very popular example that is extremely silly. While these works do not discredit the genre or its power, it is important to recognize why this genre may not be taken as seriously as some of the other works we have evaluated in class. Despite this, I think the availability and accessibility of story telling platforms is vital to avoid a “Single Story”. Machinima empowers individuals to tell their own stories; stories which are then available in an easily accessible and distributable format. For the first time in history, nearly everyone is equally empowered to tell and share their stories. This incredible democratization may have profound impacts on social justice and equality.

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One thought on “Machinima – Saving us from a Single Story

  1. We can certainly hope that the democratizing affordances of machinima will be able to affect society, though, as Finn has pointed out, that may not end up being the case. However, perhaps the impulses observed in the history of machinima will express themselves in other, emerging media, as you noted in your presentation.

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