Academics looking at machinima might be interested in the symposium “Gaming and the Halo franchise” from 29th October – 2nd November 2012. Call for participants/proposals, deadline 28th September 2012. Full information from: email@example.com
Ray Tracey is a PhD researcher who has been undertaking a series of real-time animation tests this week…
“These tests undeniably show that real-time high-res path tracing of highly detailed and complex scenes is possible today using just one or two GPUs [graphics cards]”
Above: the Brigade game engine with photorealistic lighting and shadowing in real-time, on 2 GTX 580 Nvidia GPUs.
A useful discussion by a lawyer, outlining the state of play on parody, copyright and trademark infringement in the USA.
The March 2012 conference Virtual Worlds: Best Practices in Education is calling for machinima animations, to showcase to educationalists at the conference. Deadline: 15th Feb 2012. Lots of categories, including “Teen”.
An academic paper from June 2010, available free from the author’s website…
Under The Radar: industry entry by user entrepreneurs. Research Policy No. 39 (2010), pages 1198 – 1213.
“We study an emerging group of [business] firms founded by users of video games who became entrepreneurs on entering the animation industry by producing Machinima, a new film genre characterized by shooting film in video games. We explain how user entrepreneurs gain access to complementary assets (video games) for their new use (shooting film), how they deal with intellectual property issues when using other firms’ assets, and how user entrepreneurs combine domain knowledge about film production with their experience in video games and the art of Machinima.”
The Children’s Literature Association’s 2012 conference is on “Literary Slipstreams”. One of the topics they are inviting papers on is “Machinima”. Deadline for application: 15th January 2012. The conference…
“invites participants to think about literature for children and young adults as a literature both of and in transition.”
The McFarland & Co. book Machinima: The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking is set to ship in the UK today, according to Amazon UK. The USA has to wait until mid January 2012.
The keynote speech given by Henry Lowood at the 2011 Machinima Expo, now online.
A review in the THES of the new book, Fan Fiction and Copyright: Outsider Works and Intellectual Property Protection, which has relevance to machinima…
“While Schwabach does not provide a detailed fair-use analysis, what matters for most readers is that the conclusion is correct: much fan fiction is legal.”
Free access to the SAGE Journal of Visual Culture special April 2011 issue on machinima, through to the end of 2011. It had been free on publication, but was then taken behind the paywall. Now it’s free again.
An excellent quickie DIY guide to original monster creation, from Lee Allen Howard. He simplifies and structures the ideas from Noel Carroll’s dense The Philosophy of Horror (Routledge, 1990)…
“If it is only threatening, then the emotion is fear. If it is only impure, the emotion is disgust. But, if both, the emotion is horror!”
If you’re in London this summer, there’s a host of animation talks and other events (PDF link) around the Barbican’s Watch Me Move, an expensive £12/$20-ticket retrospective exhibition of 150 years of animation.
Two of the highlights (although Marina Warner is sadly only limited to one hour) are…
28th July, 8pm, Cinema 2.
Fourth Dimensional Minds Eye Summoning
“Pioneering music producer Paul Smith orchestrates a fever-dream performance of a new text by Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) and elemental electro-sonics by Edwin Pouncy (Savage Pencil).”
1st Sept, 6.30pm, Barbican Art Gallery.
Gallery Talk: Marina Warner
“Acclaimed author [and thinker] Marina Warner discusses the art of shadow play animation, as seen in Lotte Reininger’s celebrated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), through to works by contemporary artists William Kentridge and Kara Walker.”
The hardcover of MIT Press’s The Machinima Reader is now showing up in Amazon UK, albeit only in hardback and without a cover shot. £28.50 will get you a copy, and Amazon have a shipping date of 27th June 2011.
MIT Press usually give away the table-of-contents, introduction, first chapter and index for free, so even those who can’t afford it should be able to get a reasonable peek at it. MIT Press books also tend to get fairly good exposure on the Google Books preview service.
Sage’s scholarly Journal of Visual Culture has a special machinima issue out now. Normally such publicly-funded academic work is hidden from the public behind commercial journal paywalls, but for this issue only the editor has requested that they made the April 2011 issue open access. Here’s the contents list…
A ‘Different Technical Approach’? Introduction to the Special Issue on Machinima
Towards a Manifesto for Machinima
A Look Back at Machinima’s Potential
Machinima is Growing Up
Machinima: Limited, Ghettoized, and Spectacularly Promising
Where Were You the Day Onyxia Died?
Massively Multiplayer Machinima Mikusuto
Machinima in a Fanvid Ecology
Does Machinima Really Democratize?
Eight Questions (and Answers) about Machinima
Censorship as Criticism: Performance Art and Fair Use in Virtual Territory
Opportunity and Liability: The Two Sides of Machinima
Machinima as a Viable Commercial Medium
The Future of Machinima as a Professional Animation Resource and its Growth as Real-Time Animation in Virtual Worlds
Molotov Alva’s Further Adventures: A Conversation Which Could’ve Happened (But Never Did)
‘A Counter-Friction to the Machine’: What Game Scholars, Librarians, and Archivists Can Learn from Machinima Makers about User Activism
Perfect Capture: Three Takes on Replay, Machinima and the History of Virtual Worlds
Anyone reading this far in the post may also be interested in the May 2010 edition of my free academic ‘overlay’ ejournal The Journal of the Imaginary and Fantastic which was on ‘Machinima, the first decade‘, and which linked to selected free / open-access works.
Prestigious academic journal Nature reports that applying a 9v battery charge to your scalp while videogaming can double the rate at which you learn how to play the game…
“Volunteers receiving 2 milliamps to the scalp (about one-five-hundredth the amount drawn by a 100-watt light bulb) showed twice as much improvement in the game after a short amount of training as those receiving one-twentieth the amount of current. “They learn more quickly but they don’t have a good intuitive or introspective sense about why,” says Clark.”
Nice. Will iClone 5 ship with a small “thinking cap” and a couple of spare batteries?
Birmingham City University (UK) will be hosting an Animation Explosion conference on 14th September 2011. The event is sponsored by the UK’s Society for Animation Studies and they’re now inviting papers. There seem to be two broad areas of interest: approaches to the analysis of animation; and explorations of the expanding breadth of animation practices and communities. No mention of machinima, but I’m sure it’ll be welcome as a proposal for a paper.
Magnum reports on a new academic book on machinima, due in September 2011. The title is pencilled-in as Modern Machinima : Aesthetics and Practice in Game and Virtual Filmmaking.