Free Pixel

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.


    [August 20th, 2013]

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    Posted by micnit

    Oh well, I am pretty much away from Freepixel by now but every now and then something surprising pops out of the machinima experience. The first was the’s interactive film festival which is online and in a physical form November 22-23.

    What a strange experience! Starting from the over-hype energy that pumps up from x billion views to the fact that they basically own YouTube to a subscription base that is that of a middle-sized European country. But when I looked at the list of last year’s winners of the festival there is barely anything that would even remotely qualify as machinima. Even what little is there, is not very good machinima – as far as I am concerned:

    And on the other end there is the beautiful Other Places series by Andy Kelly: full of atmosphere, well composed, valid reflections on game worlds. Not unlike some of the more poetic Second Life pieces.

    The strange thing is that Kelly (aka ultrabrilliant) does not even see this as part of machinima culture. It clearly is, but the artist does not seek this reference anymore. Here is his example for Bioshock Infinite:


    In an interview over at VideoGameTourism he states that he sees the worlds he presents as living spaces:

    In a lot of video game worlds, you can almost see the joins. You can imagine a developer placing scenery and sticking buildings together. The games featured in Other Places are distinct in that these worlds, to me, feel real and lived-in.

    Yet although he uses basic machinima techniques, he neither watches other machinima nor wants to be part of this practice. And this is not due to negligence. Kelly is writing for various game publications and is well aware of the territory he is playing in – he just does not want to play with machinima. Maybe that explains why I am not so excited about machinima these days.


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