Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Video Games as Tools - Machinima

I talk about video games as an art form ALL THE TIME. Practically every other post on this blog is about how video games need to be accepted as an art form, because they are art. But one thing I don't talk about nearly as often is how they can be used to create art.

Video Games can be great and powerful tools in the right hands. How so? Well, several ways. An example? Machinima.

What is Machinima you ask? Simple. Machinima is using the art assets in a video game, and manipulating them in a way to create a video. The most typical type of Machinima is music video parodies. These can vary to really really good. To... Less good. It just depends really. That said, while there are some out there that are straight up parodies of songs (which in many cases can be better than the original song.)...

*Caution crude content... But what do you expect, it's a Ke$ha parody. She has to freaking censor her own name, and that's not even a swear word.*

There are plenty that just take existing songs and create a music video for them. These are probably my favorite music video machinima.

I mean look at that. That's art right there. That was made using World of Warcraft animations, and essentially Photoshop. If you're familiar with the Warcraft Lore the story to the video even makes sense, as it shows a character rescuing Thrall (a major character) from an orcish internment camp.

Another great example is "Gilnean Like Me" a music video for the song "Wolf Like Me".

*Caution some mild language. But man this video is epic.*

This one is just gorgeous. Using the song, and the visuals from WoW, it tells the story of a man who becomes a Werewolf, as his homeland is attacked by an undead faction known as the Forsaken.

This is absolutely art. Absolutely.

But there are plenty of Machinima doing things other than music videos. Although music videos are probably the vast majority.

There are entire dramatic series done in Machinima form. For example, WoWcrendor's faux "How To" series.

Or the "Freeman's Mind" series, which while hysterically funny, is both too bloody and contains too much language for me to post here. Basically it's a guy narrating Half-Life, if the main character, instead of never speaking, wouldn't shut up about how much his job sucks. Also he kills guys. But don't worry it was "self defense with an automatic weapon".

There's plenty of dubs, too.

Basically anything you can imagine can be done via machinima. Including this. And I'm not even sure what this is.

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