Maybe I’m just tragically unhip that I hadn’t heard about this before, but Yvonne introduced me to a new word yesterday: machinima. Wikipedia defines this as:
Machinima (a portmanteau word for machine cinema and/or machine animation) is both a collection of associated production techniques and a film genre (film created by such production techniques).
As a production technique, the term concerns the rendering of computer-generated imagery (CGI) using low-end 3D engines (as opposed to high-end and complex 3D engines used by professionals) in video games (typically, engines in first person shooter games have been used).
Apparently there have been whole series of videos created this way, using captures of videogames. We watched some episodes of Red vs. Blue, created using Halo — which I’ve never in my life played. Red vs. Blue was funny, though I suspect I’m not the target audience. Despite my being a major SF geek. I’ve never been much of a video gamer. Not since you could find Q*bert in arcades, anyway.
No, what I think is most interesting about machinima is its existence at all — that it’s an unintended use of a technology designed for a completely other purpose. Again, Wikipedia:
Machinima is an example of emergent gameplay, a process of putting game tools to unexpected ends, and of artistic computer game modification.