Panel: Voicing Electronic Arts
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.
- Isabelle Arvers is a french new media curator, critic and author, specializing in video and computer games, web animation and digital cinema. She has coordinated ISEA 2000, Paris, and she has curated Video Cuts 2001, Centre Pompidou, Gaming Room Villette Numerique 2002, Paris, and Tour of the Web 2003, Centre Pompidou, featuring French and international artists. In 2004, she organized a Gameboy music concert and she has curated the wireless art event Wifiledefrance for la Region Ile de France. She was the net.art curator for the 2004 Banana RAM festival, Italy. She curated the exhibit Gametime, Experimedia, Melbourne in October 2004 and la Nuit Numerique for the 2004 Bitfilms Festival, Hambourg, Germany, November 2004. Her latest projects are: No fun games and the gaming experience, Bergen Norway, 2005; Mal au Pixel, Paris, France, 2006; Articule 3, emerging swiss creation, Annecy, France, 2007; Playing to real, Meudon, France, 2007, Gamerz 04 and Gamerz 05 and Gamerz6, Aix-en-Provence, 2008 & 2009, Machinima screenings, Gameplay & Mostravideo Brasil, 2009. isabellearvers.com youtube.com/user/zabarvers
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