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discovering games as expressive media

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    FreePixel looks at video games as part of the moving image culture. Games are not movies. But games use moving image tradition in their presentation. That is why FreePixel offers a critical look at games and their expressive qualities that grow from the use of the moving image.

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    [May 13th, 2011]

    The Oracle is live

    Posted by Michael

    Jeffrey Jacobson from PublicVR and a whole team of animators, experts, and coders (cudos to Friedrich Kirschner) have wrapped up the Egyptian Oracle project and it officially premiered at the BostonĀ Cyberarts Festival. The project will be installed from June 13th at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
    The project was funded by the NEA and provides a mixture of digital puppetry and live guidance through the virtual construction of a typical Egyptian temple site. The show includes some audience involvement and is mainly geared to museum visitors, so this is less about spectacular effects or grand narratives but instead on education.
    For those of us interested in tech specs: the very first version of their temple was running in VRML – it seems you can still download that file from their web site. But the final version runs in Unity with some custom-made puppetry controls. The two main characters in the show are the guide (who is a real person standing in front of the projection screen) and a priest (who is a virtual avatar in the 3D world). This second character is controlled live by a puppeteer.
    There is more information on the project online and even some links to further publications at the bottom of that page. Eventually, there should be a proper video on the project, too.
    For full disclosure: I was involved in some advisory role but the project was spearheaded by Jeffrey and his team.
    Sure, it is not a machinima per se but with live digital puppetry and real-time 3D environments involved it is relevant enough. Admittedly, I am getting more and more entangled in puppets and digital performances. In fact, May 19-22 2011 we will have a short experimental digital puppetry piece at the Center for Puppetry Arts here in Atlanta as part of their Experimental Puppetry Theater show.

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