Potentior: The debate

The recent release of Nicholas Werner's Potentior sparked an interesting debate around the very notion of machinima. Point your browsers to the Internet Archive to read the ongoing discussion (Thanks, Henry).

Here's a passage:

This machinima film is very good example of what is great and what is wrong with machinima as an art form. While I respect the filmmaker for his obvious hard work and effort in putting together such a difficult project and doing it well, it simply does not work as a film. As a piece of fan fiction or class room project it is very well done, but the technical problems that are created by choosing to shoot the film in Rome: Total War are just too large to overcome.

The basic problem with the film is that the director chose to write a script and shoot a movie that emulates the Hollywood epic style. And so we get a script that makes Caesar into a hero when most historians agree that the war in Gaul was not a "defensive" effort that Ceasar describes in his famous memoir of the campaign, but rather an attempt to shore up his politcal position back home in Rome and to recoupt the massive debts he had ammasses during the campaign. Making Ceasar into a heroic figure is simply naive. Even a modest amount of historical research would have revealed what Ceasar's real character was like. (gToon)

Read more.

Some of the issues that need to be addressed are: What qualifies as a ""pure" machinima? How can we deal with the limitations/potential of the medium to create challenging narratives? What does 'quality' mean in relation to machinima?