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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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    [June 3rd, 2011]

    SL machinima month

    Posted by Michael

    The Month of Machinima has kicked off in Second Life – more precisely here. Thanks to the Linden Endowment for the Arts

    I have so much catching up to do that I did not really have any idea what to expect. Well, after the jump you should find the 14 selected movies (thanks to Chantal Harvey)

    Laslopnatomik Yao :Bibdui Babenco 31-08-09 Poetic DJ
    Rocksea Renegade : Virtual & Reality
    Pesto Portland : Beyond Insilico
    Muk Dumpling : Muks Home Movies Reel 1
    Termin Planer : Worst Trip to Second Life
    Rick Garnburg : Hit The Beat
    Bay Sweetwater : Domo arigato, Roboto-san (Thank-you, Mr. Robot)
    Sierra Larsen : Somewhere Else
    Phaylen Fairchild : Harbinger, the trailer
    BobE Schism : Love is Sometimes Colder Than Ice
    Mimesis Monday Rise and Dust
    Sophia Yates : Magical Glorious Morn
    Toxic Menges : Петро́вский флюс (a Petrovsky flux)

    I do not want to really critique them – like I said: I have some catching up to do – but some things stood out. Only one of those pieces (Somewhere Else) actually has a clear story – all the others are more experimental/ music video/ location show cases.

    Another weird detail: a lot of shots look beautiful but empty. Usually there might be one character, 3 or 4 the most, but their interactions are either non-existent or reduced to standing or dancing the typical distance from each other on their own. Back when we were playing with architectural visualizations and public performances in 3D we thought that Second Life with its brimming social world would be the answer to the too clean and too empty versions done before. One has to admit, pieces like Петро́вский флюс are a display of poetic virtual landscapes. But still, it reminds me in an uncanny way of early cyberspace renditions (a weird compilation would be here).

    At the same time, none of the work is as abstracted as the really early stuff – like John Whitney. So it seems not be be about the computer rendering itself – it is really more about the idea of the cyberspace as a poetic fantasy. I cannot say anything about whether this is representative of the state of Second Life machinima or how the event is organized (maybe they had some interest in this format?), and I am sure I oversimplify here – but from the outside it looks a bit like the 80s in SL.

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