John Arnone gives a legal analysis of Rooster's popular machinima Red vs. Blue, a series of films using Microsofts Halo, and Halo 2 for source material. Suprisingly Bungie (Microsoft's Game Development Company) gave Rooster full permision to use the game for the machinima series. A risky move considering the "low humor" of the machinima show, but in the end a wise decision. RvB has helped make Halo, and the XBOX as popular as it is today.
"Machinima is the making of animated movies in real time through the use of computer game technology. The projects that launched machinima embedded gameplay in practices of performance, spectatorship, subversion, modification, and community. This article is concerned primarily with the earliest machinima projects. In this phase, DOOM and especially Quake movie makers created practices of game performance and high-performance technology that yielded a new medium for linear storytelling and artistic expression. My aim is not to answer the question, “are games art?”, but to suggest that game-based performance practices will influence work in artistic and narrative media." -Lowood
This article was a primary source for my paper. Althogh Lowood focuses almost entirely on the FPS culture which emerged out of Id Software's original 3D shooter trilogy: Wolfenstein, DOOM, and Quake, it also covers a good deal of general info about machinima...
A MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or, sometimes, Multi-User Dimension) is a
network-accessible, multi-participant, user-extensible virtual reality whose
user interface is entirely textual. Participants (usually called players) have
the appearance of being situated in an artificially-constructed place that also
contains those other players who are connected at the same time. Players can
communicate easily with each other in real time. This virtual gathering place
has many of the social attributes of other places, and many of the usual social
mechanisms operate there. Certain attributes of this virtual place, however,
tend to have significant effects on social phenomena, leading to new mechanisms
and modes of behavior not usually seen `IRL' (in real life). In this paper, I
relate my experiences and observations from having created and maintained a MUD
for over a year.
This is the first episode of the widely popular "Red Vs. Blue" machinima series. It was made using the Halo graphis engine, and is considered the most famous machinima series to date. Produced by Rooster Company, RvB is now in it's 4th season.The RvB short films give you a glimpse inside the day to day life of these space soldiers featured in game. Rather than following the games protagonist through whom the single player game is experience, RvB focuses on a rag tag group of soldiers who spend their time philosophizing, and playing pranks on each other, while they wait for their next battle. The battle of course never comes, and we are left with a new, very humorous perspective on the Halo universe.
"Written from an insider's perspective and providing vivid examples from fan artifacts, Textual Poachers offers an ethnographic account of the media fan community, its interpretive strategies, its social institutions and cultural practices, and its troubled relationship to the mass media and consumer capitalism."
This is the best source for fan culture theory. Very well written and easy to understand. Plus everyone cites it, you should too. The section I focused on dealt with the creation of meta-texts based on primary sources of fan interest in the media. This is just one of the many charachteristics of fandom Jenkins defines.
retail exchange exert a powerful influence over the aesthetic reception of gaming as a
set of enjoyable, exchangeable and exhaustible encounters. At the same time, the
mere fact that gamers talk about and contest each others' valuations in online forums
shows that there is nothing natural about such a valuation, and that the boundaries of
value codings and the boundaries of what constitutes fun are tested, if not traversed.