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March 2010, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 13 Mar 2010 02:47:51 -0800
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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essays on
filmmaking in virtual worlds 
Call for
are invited for an edited book with the working title Understanding
Machinima: essays on filmmaking in virtual worlds. Machinima - referring to
"filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D
video-game technologies" as well as works which use this animation
technique, including videos recorded in computer games or virtual worlds (see also - is
challenging the notion of the moving image in numerous media contexts, such as
video games, animation, digital cinema and virtual worlds. Machinima's
increasingly dynamic use and construction of images from virtual worlds -
appropriated, imported, worked over, re‑negotiated, re-configured, re‑composed
- not only confronts the conception and ontology of the recorded moving image,
but also blurs the boundaries between contemporary media forms, definitions and
aesthetics, converging filmmaking, animation, virtual world and game development.
Even as it poses these theoretical challenges, machinima is expanding as a
practice via internet networks and fan-based communities as well as in
pedagogical and marketing contexts. In these ways, machinima is also
transformative, presenting alternative ways and modes of teaching and
commercial promotion, in-game events and, perhaps most significantly,
networking cultures and community-building within game, virtual and filmmaking
worlds, among others. 
into these two sections - machinima (i) in theoretical analysis; and (ii) as
practice - this first collection of essays seeks to explore how we can
understand machinima in terms of the theoretical challenges it poses as well as
its manifestations as a practice. We are primarily concerned with offering critical
discussions of its history, theory, aesthetics, media form and social
implications, as well as insights into its development and the promise of what it
can become. How does machinima fit in the spectrum of media forms? What are the
ontological differences between images from machinima and photochemical/digital
filmmaking? How does machinima co-opt the affordances of the game engine to provide
narrative? How may machinima, developed from the products of game and virtual
world marketing, be used as an artistic tool? How is machinima self-reflexive,
if at all, of the virtual environments from which they arise? What are the
implications of re-deploying these media formats into alternative media forms?
How does the open-source economy that currently defines much of global
machinima relate it to broader cultural production generally? 
particular, we are looking for essays that address (but not limited to) the
following ideas: 
History: context; definitions; culture; relationships to gaming and play;
development of technology; hardware and games; archiving of play; 
* Theory:
image; ontology; time; space; narrative; realism; spectatorship; subjectivity;
virtual camera; materiality; 
Aesthetics: poetics; play; visuality; détournement; remix; digital
mashup; appropriation; recombinative narratives; audio and visual theory;
spatiality; narrative architecture;
Contemporary media contexts: comparative media; machinima vis-à-vis video
games, (digital) cinema, animation, virtual worlds; the visual economy of
machinima versus film 
Communities: Machinima as community-based practice and performance; user
created content; online publishing; fan (fiction) communities; open source;
cultural reflection
Pedagogy: digital literacy; teaching models and practices; student-centered
learning; critical making; collaborative authorship; rhetorics; problem based
Marketing: crowd sourcing; viral marketing; peer to peer sharing; commercials,
trailer promotions; grass roots versus astro turf; serials and sequels. 
submit a 300 word abstract and a short bio via e-mail to
[log in to unmask] (NOT the address of the sender above) by 30 August 2010. We expect that final essays
should not exceed 7,000 words and be due on 30 December 2010. 
Jenna P-S.
Umeå University 


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