Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Machinima, Voldo, Machinima

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Okay, so it took me over a week to get around for finding out exactly what Machinima actually means, but now I've had time to check, I'm fascinated. The idea of use game-worlds and gameplay engines to generate films is pretty interesting. The movie which brought this to my attention was, of course, the recent massive attention for Dance, Voldo Dance which is described by makers BaiNst as:
"Dance, Voldo, Dance" is a subversion of form. This is a recording of a video game being played, but not in the way it was meant to be played. The choreographed moves in this recording are all actual game play; no programming was done. "Soul Calibur" is a game in which two combatants battle to the death using their weapons of choice. It's common in this style of fighting game for each character to have multiple costumes, and this is why there are two equally freaky Voldos dancing with each other.
I do love the idea of using the videogame form in a non-narrative way (if, of course, you can call dance non-narrative). The clip does explore ways of creating identity in completely unexpected ways using digital game platforms. These ideas were explored in a fascinating manner by Michael Mateas over at Grand Text Auto where he argues:
While there’s alot of Machinima being produced these days, most of it is narrative; I enjoyed the pure dance performance of this piece of Machinima, a performance enabled by Voldo’s freaky double-jointed moves and enhanced by his S&M attire. While Dance Voldo Dance was carefully choreographed, I can imagine a new fighting game performance form in which two or more players improvise to music in real-time, perhaps done as a competition with the audience serving as judges.
So a Massively Multi-Player Virtual Dance Off might be in the cards? :) Don't forget to check out the 'Dance, Voldo, Dance' video here.

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