Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Understanding Machinima: Essays on Filmmaking in Virtual Worlds

Table of Contents

Preface -- Henry Lowood
Introduction -- Jenna Ng

I. Thinking Machinima

1. Machinima: Cinema in a minor or multitudinous key? -- William Brown and Matthew Holtmeier
2. Beyond Bullet Time: Media in the knowable space -- Chris Burke
3. Moving Digital Puppets -- Michael Nitsche, Ali Mazalek and Paul Clifton
4. Be(ing)Dazzled: Living in machinima -- Sheldon Brown
5. Facing the Audience: A dialogic perspective on the hybrid animated film -- Lisbeth Frølunde
6. The Art of Games: Machinima and the limits of art games -- Larissa Hjorth

II. Using Machinima

1. Dangerous Sim Crossings: Framing the Second Life art machinima -- Sarah Higley
2. Virtual Lens of Exposure: Aesthetics, theory and ethics of documentary filmmaking in Second   Life  -- Sandra Danilovic
3. Playing Politics: Machinima as live performance and document -- Joseph DeLappe
4. Call It a Vision Quest: Machinima in a First Nations context -- Beth Aileen Dillon and Jason Edward Lewis
5. World of Chaucer – Adaptation, Pedagogy and Interdisciplinarity -- Chris Moore and Graham Barwell
6. A Pedagogy of Craft: Teaching Kulturanalys with machinima -- Jenna Ng and James Barrett
7. Interview -- Isabelle Arvers and Jenna Ng

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sketching the Digital Project

Spatial Media Design

Spatial media design is the planning, implementation and execution of media installations that operate interactively in spaces. Something as simple as a map can be used to create spatial media, but in this course we will be using Quick Response Codes (see introduction here). Spatial media using QR-Codes build environments that are information rich. Moving through through these environments activates flows of information. Objects and places can be tagged with spatial media and if they are open public spaces then this information can be made available to many people. Spatial media, when it is done effectively places a layer of information over a physical space that is accessible to all.

Making a sketch lets you put your ideas on paper, giving them a form that can be questioned, commented on, developed and changed. Its not about making a 'good' sketch,' it is about having a conversation with yourself, and those you are working with. In this session we are going to sketch and plan a curation project that uses QR-Codes to create a mixed media museum space in the public domain.

The Tools

Pencil and paper
audio recorder
laptop computer
tablet computer
Websites (blogs, Facebook, wikis, existing sites, online archives)


·      Site
-       drawing
-       photography
-       diagrams/maps
-       archives

·      Information
-       interviews
-       texts (print, audio)
-       documents (images, records etc.)

·      Architecture
-       buildings
-       objects
-       design (both of subject and project)

·      Articulation
-       interface
-       media
-       hardware
-       software

Most of the content you will be working with will be curated; that is you must find it rather than make it.  Because you are working with curating you need to classify your materials and organize them. One possible way of organizing your materials is according to mode and location:





 Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

IP is divided into two categories:  Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.  Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.  For an introduction to IP for non-specialists, refer to:

The innovations and creative expressions of indigenous and local communities are also IP, yet because they are “traditional” they may not be fully protected by existing IP systems.  Access to, and equitable benefit-sharing in, genetic resources also raise IP questions.  Normative and capacity-building programs are underway at WIPO to develop balanced and appropriate legal and practical responses to these issues.  For more information, refer to:
  • IP and Traditional Knowledge
  • IP and Traditional Cultural Expressions/Folklore
Writing the Space
In creating the space of your exhibition I think it is worth paying attention to Alternate Reality Gaming ("An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by participants' ideas or actions." Wikipedia). In the development of ARGs these aspects are important:
  • Audience Analysis. Identify audience traits including age, gender, job description, cultural aspects, and other demographic considerations including team dynamics.
  • Learning Objectives and Goals. Identify the learning objectives. All activities within the environment should support the acquisition of these objectives. Link objectives and goal statements to the specific business needs. Having a clear goal in mind will help ensure a focused design.
  • Compelling Story. Create a story arc containing a beginning, middle, and end. A compelling story, combined with good writing, is a key element in a successful environment. Creating meaningful characters, and roles that players can easily relate to through their own value system, is extremely important.

Make An Alternate Reality Game! from Jane McGonigal

Consider the advice of Jane McGonigal and the articles linked above on ARG and learning when planning your spatial media project.