by Isabelle Arvers  Cheats or glitch? Voice as a Game Modification in Machinima  ISEA 2011 Istanbul 16 Sept. 2011
http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=LaDr4jgYl20&autoplay=1
Voices in machinimas appear as the human side of the virtual game environment.  Behind the gamer performance that produces...
Background  From games to Machinima Spacewar!
<ul><li>MIT computer scientists hacked the computer </li></ul><ul><li>code to conceive the first digital creation: </li></...
<ul><li>In the art world, works making games, </li></ul><ul><li>Modifying games, and using games for </li></ul><ul><li>mac...
<ul><li>Machinima represents the particular moment when </li></ul><ul><li>gamers begin to produce content and where games ...
The french democracy by Alex Chan http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=_CnXqxrkqWg&autoplay=1
<ul><li>The french democracy is the  first political machinima. It </li></ul><ul><li>explains how and why the riots began ...
Relation  of Voice to Image More than an aesthetic, games are a 3D vision  of the world, a digital representation of it.  ...
Confessions secrètes  by Systaim http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=Pw0zeDSCWrw&autoplay=1
Voices in Machinima  a Situationist Détournement of games? By using virtual spaces and changing the perspective as an arti...
<ul><li>They reactualize the Situationist conception of </li></ul><ul><li>cinema, in which images, voices in dialogs or </...
Can dialectic break bricks by René Vienet http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=3wPCiyjtBfo&autoplay=1
<ul><li>A situationist detournement in cinema. Radical, </li></ul><ul><li>self reflexive critique of social hierarchical <...
<ul><li>Some machinima, like This Spartan Life (TSL) by </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Burke, could, I would argue, be compared <...
This Spartan Life Malcolm Mc Laren interview by Chris Burke http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=ilMwGBepKxw&autoplay=1
Landlord Vigilante by Eddo Stern and Jessica Hutchins http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=BuEpF0MRn5k&autoplay=1
<ul><li>Landlord Vigilante combines the visuals of a car </li></ul><ul><li>chase with the musings of a cab driver about th...
<ul><li>Grand Theft Auto, because of its gritty depiction of </li></ul><ul><li>Los Angeles and prospective violence, and t...
World of electors Alex Chan http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=IoSNt6zK8I8&autoplay=1
<ul><li>Why do I compare these machinimas to </li></ul><ul><li>Situationist movies? Because, thanks to the </li></ul><ul><...
The Influence of Theater and Improvisation in Machinima Performance In the human voice, the body travels from thought to i...
Voice is the simultaneous presence and absence of human corporeality.  Voice is the content and the meaning in language bu...
The voice over represents a huge part of machinimas.  Paul Marino talks about it as the “humanness that is otherwise missi...
Bill & John KBS Productions http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=oVZqFWk0JDI&autoplay=1
<ul><li>Bill & John reminds us of Beckett’s absurd </li></ul><ul><li>theater, where clownish characters hold </li></ul><ul...
Red vs Blue by Rooster Teeth http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=9BAM9fgV-ts&autoplay=1&start=10
<ul><li>Interviewed about the link between the dialogs </li></ul><ul><li>written for the serial Red vs Blue and the </li><...
Voice as a sound image Because video games are a medium they know  and master, it is interesting to get young  generations...
Machinima workshops
<ul><li>Voice is a sound image of themselves, they put part </li></ul><ul><li>of their personality in their avatar which t...
Machinima workshop  Go Play One Hyères http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=S6bg8ljOD1s&autoplay=1
The image rights for voice‘Right of Publicity’:  the individual will have an exclusive right over the use and exploitation...
Conclusion <ul><li>Voices move our mind to another range of perception, </li></ul><ul><li>diverting us to immerse totally ...
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Voice as a game modification in Machinima - ISEA 2011 Istanbul

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ISEA 2011 Istanbul panelist : Voicing electronic arts

Chair Person : Norie Neumark Presenters : Nermin Saybasili, Igor Stromajer, Isabelle Arvers

Location : Sabanci Center Room 1, Sabanci Center, Levent

There is an uncanny quality to voice in electronic arts, viscerally carrying bodily intimacies to the listener through physical spaces, yet dislocated from the speaker’s body through reproduction and transmission. The digital voice is paradoxically human and machinic – intimate and intense, as it connects subjectivities on the one hand and the digitally abstract on the other hand, as it passes through machines on to the other. Whether voices call to us across the internet, or across the smaller space of an installation, or from the small screen of machinima, media artists have found this paradoxical and uncanny quality alluring and have worked with it across a range of media and emotional ranges. While voice is often discussed in a political and metaphorical sense (giving people a voice through media) the aim of this panel is to address the aesthetics of voice in media art.

Machinima as a Political or Artistic Detournement of Video Games by Isabelle Arvers

This paper presents Machinima as a political or artistic detournement of video games. By using virtual spaces and changing perspective as an artistic strategy, machinima allow a distanced critique of a simulated world. They tend to erase the boundaries between reality and fiction and redefine the transgressive power of the game. As Guy Debord states in The Society of the Spectacle, “There, where the real world is changing into simple images, simple images become real human beings and efficient motivations for an hypnotic behavior.” Machinima re-actualize the Situationist conception of cinema in which voices in dialogs, or interviews, or voice over and images, act as different layers of content. In the purest hacking tradition, machinima can be perceived as a « detournement » or a diversion of mass media to become a means of expression, political or artistic…

Machinima represents the particular moment when gamers begin to produce content and where games become tools of expression. These movies are mostly narrative, but they can also be experimental, artistic, or related to music, documentaries, ads, and feature films. They can be seen as a new way of representation in the digital age, along with 3D animation, digital cinema, or video. Machinima has a huge potential because it uses mass consumption objects that are games, to help people self-express. A recent French study showed that 99.8 % of teenagers play video games daily. Therefore, it can be said that games surround our everyday life. This is the reason why it is meaningful to diffuse a cinematographic genre using games and open source tools, to make movies and artworks, enabling and amplifying other ways for people to express themselves.

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Voice as a game modification in Machinima - ISEA 2011 Istanbul

  1. 1. by Isabelle Arvers Cheats or glitch? Voice as a Game Modification in Machinima ISEA 2011 Istanbul 16 Sept. 2011
  2. 2. http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=LaDr4jgYl20&autoplay=1
  3. 3. Voices in machinimas appear as the human side of the virtual game environment. Behind the gamer performance that produces character actions, dialogs create the sense and the drama of the movie. Voices, through dialogs, songs, or voice-overs, also become game modifications, as they transform the original game function and offer a new set of meaning to the virtual realities.
  4. 4. Background From games to Machinima Spacewar!
  5. 5. <ul><li>MIT computer scientists hacked the computer </li></ul><ul><li>code to conceive the first digital creation: </li></ul><ul><li>Spacewar! </li></ul><ul><li>And Spacewar! was a computer game. So, if </li></ul><ul><li>computer game history is related to the roots of </li></ul><ul><li>digital creation and to digital code hacking, </li></ul><ul><li>machinima can be understood to follow this </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>In the art world, works making games, </li></ul><ul><li>Modifying games, and using games for </li></ul><ul><li>machinima can be seen as following in the </li></ul><ul><li>footsteps of Dadaism and Surrealism, </li></ul><ul><li>Dadaism and surrealism saw play and </li></ul><ul><li>entertainment as the most subversive and </li></ul><ul><li>Also as the ultimate forms of art. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Machinima represents the particular moment when </li></ul><ul><li>gamers begin to produce content and where games </li></ul><ul><li>become tools of expression. </li></ul>Machinima as a mean of expression
  8. 8. The french democracy by Alex Chan http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=_CnXqxrkqWg&autoplay=1
  9. 9. <ul><li>The french democracy is the first political machinima. It </li></ul><ul><li>explains how and why the riots began in 2005 in the </li></ul><ul><li>suburb of Paris. </li></ul><ul><li>Alex Chan had never made a movie before, but faced </li></ul><ul><li>with the media coverage of the riots, which was </li></ul><ul><li>massively biased against the youngsters, he decided to </li></ul><ul><li>give them a voice by the means of a game </li></ul>
  10. 10. Relation of Voice to Image More than an aesthetic, games are a 3D vision of the world, a digital representation of it. And in these environments, voices transform the meaning of the scenes. Voices are a tool to appropriate these worlds by adding our own stories, thanks to dialogs between characters. Voices bring sensitivity, a sense of humor, or an absurd touch to these virtual spaces.
  11. 11. Confessions secrètes by Systaim http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=Pw0zeDSCWrw&autoplay=1
  12. 12. Voices in Machinima a Situationist Détournement of games? By using virtual spaces and changing the perspective as an artistic strategy, machinima allow a distanced critique of a simulated world. They tend to erase the boundaries between reality and fiction and redefine the transgressive power of the game.
  13. 13. <ul><li>They reactualize the Situationist conception of </li></ul><ul><li>cinema, in which images, voices in dialogs or </li></ul><ul><li>interviews or voice over, act as different layers </li></ul><ul><li>of content. </li></ul><ul><li>Guy Debord and Gil J. Wolman, in a joint text </li></ul><ul><li>written in 1956, added to the Situationist </li></ul><ul><li>theory of détournement the point that cinema </li></ul><ul><li>is the most efficient method of détournement </li></ul><ul><li>where détournement tends to pure beauty. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Can dialectic break bricks by René Vienet http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=3wPCiyjtBfo&autoplay=1
  15. 15. <ul><li>A situationist detournement in cinema. Radical, </li></ul><ul><li>self reflexive critique of social hierarchical </li></ul><ul><li>structures and worker exploitation. </li></ul><ul><li>Humorously conveyed via the mise en scene of </li></ul><ul><li>a martial arts film, which in itself becomes a </li></ul><ul><li>nuanced revision of the genre. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Some machinima, like This Spartan Life (TSL) by </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Burke, could, I would argue, be compared </li></ul><ul><li>To Situationist movies. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, while Damian Lacaedemion </li></ul><ul><li>defends Malcolm McLaren against futuristic </li></ul><ul><li>monsters, we follow McLaren walking through the </li></ul><ul><li>digital landscape, in the shape of a strange </li></ul><ul><li>purple animal, talking about “magnificent failures </li></ul><ul><li>better than little successes. “ </li></ul>
  17. 17. This Spartan Life Malcolm Mc Laren interview by Chris Burke http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=ilMwGBepKxw&autoplay=1
  18. 18. Landlord Vigilante by Eddo Stern and Jessica Hutchins http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=BuEpF0MRn5k&autoplay=1
  19. 19. <ul><li>Landlord Vigilante combines the visuals of a car </li></ul><ul><li>chase with the musings of a cab driver about the </li></ul><ul><li>economy. </li></ul><ul><li>It allows a second level of reading the images. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Grand Theft Auto, because of its gritty depiction of </li></ul><ul><li>Los Angeles and prospective violence, and the Sims, </li></ul><ul><li>which is property/real-estate oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Each game presents a “world” or narrative arena </li></ul><ul><li>confined by a set of prescribed, “rules”—we wanted </li></ul><ul><li>to stretch and play with those rules to tell our own </li></ul><ul><li>post-traumatic story </li></ul>
  21. 21. World of electors Alex Chan http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=IoSNt6zK8I8&autoplay=1
  22. 22. <ul><li>Why do I compare these machinimas to </li></ul><ul><li>Situationist movies? Because, thanks to the </li></ul><ul><li>voices, they add an artistic or a theoretical </li></ul><ul><li>content to the images of violent games, </li></ul><ul><li>The Situationists had the idea of using a movie </li></ul><ul><li>as the most efficient détournement because of </li></ul><ul><li>cinema’s capacity to reach a popular audience, </li></ul><ul><li>new kinds of audience encounters are now </li></ul><ul><li>possible with the extensive games audiences. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Influence of Theater and Improvisation in Machinima Performance In the human voice, the body travels from thought to its expression as language. « Voice is a sculpture of the thought. It is the information sculpted by the air through the organs. It transforms the immateriality of thinking into materiality by bringing the body inside the sound «  Joseph Beuys, L’entrée dans un être vivant , conference at Free International University, Dokumenta 6, Kassel (1977)
  24. 24. Voice is the simultaneous presence and absence of human corporeality. Voice is the content and the meaning in language but also the sound of a person and their body through time and space. « anonymous body of the actor in my ear « Roland Barthes, Le grain de la voix.
  25. 25. The voice over represents a huge part of machinimas. Paul Marino talks about it as the “humanness that is otherwise missing from the digital package “: The voices of actors in machinimas “animate” the virtual spaces. They give life and personality to digital puppets, which were not a priori conceived by the game developers to have dialogs with each other. And as machinima directors cannot play with the facial expressions of their digital puppets in the way cinema does with live actors, or in traditional animation, they need to work very precisely on the voice-over.
  26. 26. Bill & John KBS Productions http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=oVZqFWk0JDI&autoplay=1
  27. 27. <ul><li>Bill & John reminds us of Beckett’s absurd </li></ul><ul><li>theater, where clownish characters hold </li></ul><ul><li>discussions in strange spaces—cold and </li></ul><ul><li>mostly empty. </li></ul><ul><li>This confrontation between humorously edged </li></ul><ul><li>and warmly human dialogs and “cold” digital </li></ul><ul><li>spaces is also prominent in the voice </li></ul><ul><li>performances of the famous machinima series </li></ul><ul><li>Red vs Blue. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Red vs Blue by Rooster Teeth http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=9BAM9fgV-ts&autoplay=1&start=10
  29. 29. <ul><li>Interviewed about the link between the dialogs </li></ul><ul><li>written for the serial Red vs Blue and the </li></ul><ul><li>Theater of the absurd, Burnie Burns agrees: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yes, especially the early episodes. We wanted to know what would happen to videogame characters after the games were turned off. It’s funny to think that these guys would have a life where they wait for someone to come along and play their game. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Voice as a sound image Because video games are a medium they know and master, it is interesting to get young generations to use 3D real time engines to write and direct movies. The workshops aim to transform an object of mass consumption and entertainment into a means of film production and expression. Educating young people in technical writing, reading, production and editing. Working on a playful reappropriation of the first cultural object: the video game.
  31. 31. Machinima workshops
  32. 32. <ul><li>Voice is a sound image of themselves, they put part </li></ul><ul><li>of their personality in their avatar which takes </li></ul><ul><li>another dimension </li></ul><ul><li>By recording dialogs and creating their avatars/ they </li></ul><ul><li>put their personality inside a 3D image which will be </li></ul><ul><li>then shared on Online video platform </li></ul><ul><li>They have a sensation of freedom : Freedom of </li></ul><ul><li>expression, freedom with the traditional rules. </li></ul><ul><li>They have a big fun to record and then listen the </li></ul><ul><li>sound of their voices </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Machinima workshop Go Play One Hyères http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?video_id=S6bg8ljOD1s&autoplay=1
  34. 34. The image rights for voice‘Right of Publicity’: the individual will have an exclusive right over the use and exploitation of their image (including voice ) in a commercial context.
  35. 35. Conclusion <ul><li>Voices move our mind to another range of perception, </li></ul><ul><li>diverting us to immerse totally in digital images and </li></ul><ul><li>allowing us to keep a critical distance while getting </li></ul><ul><li>closer to characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>www.isabellearvers.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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