When the Going Gets Rough, It’s Time to Get Creative

While reading Henry Lowood’s article “Found Technology: Players as Innovators in the Making of Machinima” I came to the conclusion that the basics of machinima movie making could be separated into two really broad categories. You have the game demos from games such as DOOM that show people how to play a game and then more storyline guided movies such as “The French Democracy” that seem like a traditional movie but come from playing a video game.

Reading about “The French Democracy” made me wonder; could a machinima story similar to the French Revolution help the USA with the racial, religious, and other tensions that are plaguing our society? So many things relating to the election that just happened and the rifts it exposed within our society draw parallels to the situation that brought “The French Democracy” to life in 2005. Often times a lack of communication and the inability (or unwillingness) to listen to other people is the root cause of most problems.

An additional parallel between the two situations is the “lack of diversity and minority representation in [the] media.” When he made the game, Alex Chan ended up filling “a gap not only in minority representation, but also by utilizing a new format that…offered a point of view that was different from what could be seen on established news outlets.” Thus the effect was twofold. Instead of simply hiring more minorities within the mainstream media system, which is what France did in reaction to these sentiments, the addition of a machinima story allows for ‘everyday’ people to put their voice into the conversation and also allows other people to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Currently, in the USA, we’ve been hearing calls for increased minority representation within the mainstream media and especially within Hollywood. Honestly, the lack within Hollywood might actually mean more than within other forms of media. Words often fall short when it comes to explaining one’s viewpoint; it’s much easier to show someone what you’re trying to say instead of telling them. The addition of machinima into our mainstream media system allows the creators of these movies to show people the world through their viewpoint instead of having to write a petition or spread their voice through words alone. Not only does watching a movie have a greater effect on someone, movies also last longer than spoken word.

Earlier this week I probably would have written on the game aspect of machinima because I have some experience with watching these videos. However, with the current circumstances that my society is under, I think this might be a time where new machinima works can provide the world with some of the communication necessary to start mending our exposed flaws.



2 thoughts on “When the Going Gets Rough, It’s Time to Get Creative

  1. Pingback: Machinima: Art or play? | HDCC 208: Digital Storytelling

  2. An important observation, Ryan. We only need to think of the #oscarssowhite hash tag to realize that, for all our presumed diversity in the US, there is still a gulf between those who are empowered to make films and the minority voices that likewise deserve the opportunity to tell their stories. Your post reminded me of this video from last year’s Oscars ceremony.


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