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The Machinima Reader

CfP: The Machinima Reader

Edited by Henry Lowood and Michael Nitsche

The Machinima Reader will assemble the first collection of essays to critically review the phenomenon of Machinima from a wide variety of perspectives.

Machinima is on the verge of stepping beyond its chaotic mix of artistic, ludic and technical conceptions into established traditions and vocabularies of contemporary media. As machinima invents itself, the flexibility of its form poses an interesting challenge to academics as well as artists and critics. We want to offer an inaugural reader for the further development and critical discussion of Machinima, one that charts its growth from several angles and also provides a foundation for critical studies in the future.

The rapid development of Machinima is closely connected to the culture of computer and video games. In a repetition of early cinema's history, many of Machinima's milestones are formulated as mixtures of artistic expression and technical achievements. In our organization of The Machinima Reader, we will recognize that the creators of Machinima have been at times just as concerned with demonstrating mastery of technology and gameplay as in artistic expression or narrative performance. At the same time we acknowledge an artistic maturing process that has led to more professional production methods and results of higher quality. Consequently, we are looking for essays that address a range of topics. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Culture: History of Machinima " definitions, technology, and context; performance practices; evolving and new presentation platforms, theory
  • Technology: Promise and impact of real-time engines for animation; future developments in hard- and software; technical relationship and dependencies among games, technology and machinima
  • Communities and Contexts: Machinima as community-based practice and performance; legal issues; use in classroom; relationship to other media; machinima as guerilla film making; Machinima and modding; players as performers; machinima in MMOs
  • Art: Aesthetics and poetics of Machinima; Machinima and new media; from game to Machinima " what translates what does not?

Please submit a 500 abstract via email as RTF document to michael.nitsche at lcc.gatech.edu and lowood at stanford.edu by April 3rd, 2006.

We expect that final essays will not exceed 5000-7000 words and will be due July 2006.

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