Week 12 (Nov. 15)

Instructor: Porter Olsen

Topic: Machinima and “Found Technologies”

Class will be held in the DCC lab in Queen Anne’s Hall

Pre-class Reading:

Lowood, Henry: “Found Technology: Players as Innovators in the Making of Machinima”

Selected machinima:

1.  This one of the earliest examples of what we now call machinima, as discussed in the Lowood piece.

2. This machinima was made with Second Life. The play between who we are in the physical world versus who we are in the digital world should remind you of our last discussion.

3. A more serious attempt to use computer games to tell stories, this clip uses the Rome II real-time strategy game to recreate epic battles of the past.

4. Ever wonder what those digital objects do sitting around all day waiting for your character to run by so they can blow you up? Well here you go.

5. The Trashmaster is a full length film (88 minutes) using Grand Theft Auto. I’ve only given you the first 14 minutes here, but you’re welcome to watch the other parts as well if you like.

6. Red vs. Blue – Easily one of the funniest shows ever written, machinima or other wise (though you do have to be at least a casual gamer to get the humor). Careful where you watch this one–they tend to say fuck a lot.

7.A Team Fortress 2 parody trailer for the film Law Abiding Citizen, significant for the way it splices traditional film and machinima together.

8. Another parody, this time of Cold Play’s “Viva la Vida” using Minecraft.

9.Finally, perhaps the most infamous machinima, South Park’s “Make Love not Warcraft.”

In-class Assignment: In small groups, use what you have learned to create a work of socially conscious machinima.


Due 11/27 before 4:00 pm (that’s the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving break)

Using the skills you acquired in the lab and working as a group, reshoot your scene and upload it to the class blog via YouTube (if no member of your group has a YouTube account, ask one of your classmates or email me).

Your homework is a complete reshoot of your scene. Before shooting, get together as a group and flesh out the scene. Though you should work as a group as much as possible on each facet of the project, the writer will be responsible for writing a script, the director will write a short scene summary that includes basic blocking instructions, and the editor will be responsible for editing together the final product. To complete your homework, email me the script and director’s summary and then upload your video to the blog. In your blog post, include each of your names and roles.

Your scene should be two to five minutes long.


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