Machinimas as a Political or Artistic
“Detournement” of Video Games
by Isabelle Arvers
@zabarvers
WebVisions / Barcelona
2...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taT3gjX8xPM
My work as a curator is based on the relationship between art
and video games & how artists or indie game developers can
o...
MIT computer scientists hacked the computer code to
conceive the first digital creation: Spacewar! And Spacewar!
was a com...
Behind the gamer performance that produces character actions,
dialogs create the sense and the drama of the movie. Voices,...
Bill & John
KBS Productions
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVZqFWk0JDI
Bill & John reminds us of Beckett’s absurd
theater, where clownish characters hold
discussions in strange spaces—cold and
...
Red vs Blue
by Rooster Teeth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMICpGBK5dI
Interviewed about the link between the dialogs
written for the serial Red vs Blue and the
Theater of the absurd, Burnie Bu...
In the art world, works making games,
Modifying games, and using games for
machinima can be seen as following in the
foots...
Machinima represents the particular moment when
gamers begin to produce content and where games
become tools of expression...
The french democracy
by Alex Chan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CnXqxrkqWg
The french democracy is the first political machinima. It
explains how and why the riots began in 2005 in the
suburb of Pa...
Machinima : a Situationist Détournement
of computer games?
By using virtual spaces and changing the
perspective as an arti...
They reactualize the Situationist conception of
cinema, in which images, voices in dialogs or
interviews or voice over, ac...
Can dialectic break bricks
by René Vienet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wPCiyjtBfo
A situationist detournement in cinema. Radical,
self reflexive critique of social hierarchical
structures and worker explo...
Some machinima, like This Spartan Life (TSL) by
Chris Burke, could be compared to Situationist
movies.
For instance, while...
This Spartan Life
Malcolm Mc Laren interview
by Chris Burke
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilMwGBepKxw
Why do I compare these machinimas to
Situationist movies? Because, thanks to the
voices, they add an artistic or a theoret...
Voice as a sound image
Because video games are a medium they know and
master, it is interesting to get young generations t...
Machinima workshops
Voice is a sound image of themselves, they put part
of their personality in their avatar which takes
another dimension
By ...
Molotov Alva and his search of the
creator
https://vimeo.com/2089408
In machinima WE are the creators
Like in many other User Generated Content, in
Machinima we are the creators but we don’t ...
Machinima move our mind to another range of perception,
diverting us to immerse totally in digital images and allowing us
...
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Machinimas as a Political or Artistic “Detournement” of Video Games
Webvisions conference by Isabelle Arvers

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Web visions panel_iarvers

  1. 1. Machinimas as a Political or Artistic “Detournement” of Video Games by Isabelle Arvers @zabarvers WebVisions / Barcelona 28th June 2013
  2. 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taT3gjX8xPM
  3. 3. My work as a curator is based on the relationship between art and video games & how artists or indie game developers can offer an alternative to commercial games through installations, video art, and experimental cinema. Why? Because Video and computer games are the major entertainment industry and because nowadays 99% of Teenagers are playing games. That’s why I think it is more than important to interest ourselves to games in a critical manner. Background : from games to Machinima, from hack to hack…
  4. 4. MIT computer scientists hacked the computer code to conceive the first digital creation: Spacewar! And Spacewar! was a computer game. So, if computer game history is related to the roots of digital creation and to digital code hacking, Machinima can be understood to follow this tradition. Why? Because the ancestor of machinima is the demoscene. The demoscene was part of the hacker scene. It began in the 80s when developers hacked games and created some credits titles, putting their signatures on the cracked game. Then the game hacking culture grew up by developing audiovisuals to improve their skills in computer code development.
  5. 5. Behind the gamer performance that produces character actions, dialogs create the sense and the drama of the movie. Voices, through dialogs, songs, voice-overs, become game modifications, as they transform the original game function and offer a new set of meaning to the virtual realities. Furthermore, the voice works to bring about a reverse engineering of a mass consumerist object into a tool of narrative and artistic expression. With machinima, we can talk about an emerging game play: an unsuspected use of a game for an artistic objective. Machinima, the merger of ‘machine’ and ‘cinema.’ It is the encounter between a film and a game, in which gamers become film directors. As a technique to produce films, machinima is a new cinematographic genre.
  6. 6. Bill & John KBS Productions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVZqFWk0JDI
  7. 7. Bill & John reminds us of Beckett’s absurd theater, where clownish characters hold discussions in strange spaces—cold and mostly empty. This confrontation between humorously edged and warmly human dialogs and “cold” digital spaces is also prominent in the voice performances of the famous machinima series Red vs Blue.
  8. 8. Red vs Blue by Rooster Teeth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMICpGBK5dI
  9. 9. Interviewed about the link between the dialogs written for the serial Red vs Blue and the Theater of the absurd, Burnie Burns agrees: “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.
  10. 10. In the art world, works making games, Modifying games, and using games for machinima can be seen as following in the footsteps of Dadaism and Surrealism, Dadaism and surrealism saw play and entertainment as the most subversive and Also as the ultimate forms of art. Machinima as an artistic detournement
  11. 11. 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 as a mean of expression
  12. 12. The french democracy by Alex Chan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CnXqxrkqWg
  13. 13. The french democracy is the first political machinima. It explains how and why the riots began in 2005 in the suburb of Paris. Alex Chan had never made a movie before, but faced with the media coverage of the riots, which was massively biased against the youngsters, he decided to give them a voice by the means of a game
  14. 14. Machinima : a Situationist Détournement of computer 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.
  15. 15. They reactualize the Situationist conception of cinema, in which images, voices in dialogs or interviews or voice over, act as different layers of content. Guy Debord and Gil J. Wolman, in a joint text written in 1956, added to the Situationist theory of détournement the point that cinema is the most efficient method of détournement where détournement tends to pure beauty.
  16. 16. Can dialectic break bricks by René Vienet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wPCiyjtBfo
  17. 17. A situationist detournement in cinema. Radical, self reflexive critique of social hierarchical structures and worker exploitation. Humorously conveyed via the mise en scene of a martial arts film, which in itself becomes a nuanced revision of the genre.
  18. 18. Some machinima, like This Spartan Life (TSL) by Chris Burke, could be compared to Situationist movies. For instance, while Damian Lacaedemion defends Malcolm McLaren against futuristic monsters, we follow McLaren walking through the digital landscape, in the shape of a strange purple animal, talking about “magnificent failures better than little successes. “
  19. 19. This Spartan Life Malcolm Mc Laren interview by Chris Burke http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilMwGBepKxw
  20. 20. Why do I compare these machinimas to Situationist movies? Because, thanks to the voices, they add an artistic or a theoretical content to the images of violent games, The Situationists had the idea of using a movie as the most efficient détournement because of cinema’s capacity to reach a popular audience, new kinds of audience encounters are now possible with the extensive games audiences.
  21. 21. 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.
  22. 22. Machinima workshops
  23. 23. Voice is a sound image of themselves, they put part of their personality in their avatar which takes another dimension By recording dialogs and creating their avatars/ they put their personality inside a 3D image which will be then shared on Online video platform They have a sensation of freedom : Freedom of expression, freedom with the traditional rules. They have a big fun to record and then listen the sound of their voices .
  24. 24. Molotov Alva and his search of the creator https://vimeo.com/2089408
  25. 25. In machinima WE are the creators Like in many other User Generated Content, in Machinima we are the creators but we don’t get any IP on our productions, so my last message is that we have to fight for the freedom of Internet and for the free sharing of knowledge and culture on the web! That’s the minimum we should get in return on all the things we create and make other people benefit from!
  26. 26. Machinima move our mind to another range of perception, diverting us to immerse totally in digital images and allowing us to keep a critical distance while getting closer to caracters in video and computer games. Thank you! www.isabellearvers.com ia@isabellearvers.com Youtube.com/zabarvers @zabarvers

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