Understanding Machinima

Chapter 5

Chapter Facing the Audience: A dialogic perspective on the hybrid animated film

Authors

Abstract

This chapter explores machinima as a "hybrid animated film" or "hybrid text", with focus on the combination of machinima animation and live-action imagery. Machinima is used as an example of how "novel" or new forms of text evolve. The meaning-making processes of machinima filmmakers and audiences are studied through applying grand theoretical issue on how humans make meaning (semiosis) and dialogic theories pertaining to communication. The dialogic theoretical perspective aids in examining how texts build on previous texts or, are intertextual. Three Bakhtinian dialogic concepts (heteroglossia, genre, chronotope) are applied to analyses of various machinima films, in particular the full-length film My Avatar and Me (2010), because they offer humorous, multiple viewpoints on existential themes. In the discussion, a central theme is how novel forms of text, such as machinima, are relevant for understanding linguistic and cultural evolutions, and may even propel them.

Media

A
Freeman's Mind - Episode 1 (Half-Life Machinima)
B
A Journey into the Metaverse
C
Horwatt, Elijah. 2008. "New Media Resistance: Machinima and the Avant-Garde" http://cineaction.ca/issue73sample.htm
D
My Avatar and Me (trailer) http://vimeo.com/23585552
E
Peter Greenaway’s opening speech as juror of the 2010 "48-Hour Film Project Machinima" contest http://vimeo.com/15253336