Understanding Machinima

Chapter 9

Chapter Virtual Lens of Exposure: Aesthetics, theory and ethics of documentary filmmaking in Second Life

Authors

Abstract

This chapter reflects on the concept of docu-machinima -- the convergence of machinima and documentary filmmaking inside 3D virtual worlds. Informed by the author's Second Life machinima practice and semi-autobiographical, point-of-view documentary, Second Bodies, this analysis explores the complexities of non-fiction filmmaking inside virtual reality. Jean Baudrillard's theory of the hyperreal is applied towards an understanding of the interplay between real and virtual in machinima representation. Second Life and Second Bodies are sites of inquiry for investigating the following: docu-machinima's aesthetic, performative and technical dimensions, the expressive qualities of computer-simulated environments, the nebulous boundaries of player-avatar identity, and the ethics of capturing identities and narratives inside game engines.

Media

A
B
Horwatt, E. 2008. "New Media Resistance: Machinima and the Avant-Garde." http://www.cineaction.ca/issue73sample.htm
C
Frenetic montage sequence in Second Bodies http://vimeo.com/28765525
D
Jardin, Xeni. 2006. "Second Life griefers assault real estate millionaire Anshe Chung." http://www.boingboing.net/2006/12/21/second-life-griefers.html
E
My Second Life: The video diaries of Molotov Alva
F
Pasick, Adam. 2007. "HBO buys film made in Second Life." http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/09/04/us-hbo-secondlife-idUSN0444783420070904
G
Lo, J. 2008. "Second Life: Privacy in Virtual Worlds". http://www.priv.gc.ca/information/pub/sl_080411_e.asp
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Bugeja, M. 2007. "Second Thoughts about Second Life." http://chronicle.com/article/Second-Thoughts-About-Second/46636/
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The French Democracy
K
Still images of Annette's three avatars (chubby furry avatar, goth chick, skinny furry avatar) http://www.flickr.com/photos/30724956@N03/7578705338/in/photostream/lightbox/
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Annette's multiple online identities http://vimeo.com/29038479
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Scene from Second Bodies of filmmaker's avatar committing virtual suicide in Second Life http://vimeo.com/46063235
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Scene from Second Bodies of Michele Gardner's avatar romancing her real-life ex-boyfriend's avatar in Second Life http://vimeo.com/28741943
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Opening sequence of Second Bodies http://vimeo.com/28934916
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Dynamic camera and production design in Second Life http://vimeo.com/46062026
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Scene of depression from Second Bodies http://vimeo.com/28833961