Games, Montage, and the First Person Point of View

Nitsche Michael
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Interactive montage combines the elements of play and visual representation. The analysis of four examples of interactive montage in reference to a first person point of view highlights the importance of control and spatial reference between player-character and virtual environment. Both emerge as conditions for meaningful interactive montage. The resulting visualization style adjusts to the new conditions and refers to but often breaks cinematic rules. A critical view at the value of classic film theory for this style concludes the paper.


Computer Games / Cinema / Interfaces

King Geoff Krzywinska Tanya
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

What is the relationship between computer games and cinema? Spin-off games based on major film franchises are common, especially in genres such as science fiction, action-adventure and horror. Some games have also made the transition to the big screen, none more prominently than the Tomb Raider series in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). The potential benefits of such tieins are apparent at the industrial level, in a global media economy in which games and cinema often exist in the orbit of the same corporate giants. To what extent, though, is it useful to look at games more closely in the light of cinema? The aim of this paper is to explore points of contact between computer games and aspects of cinema, but also to highlight important differences and distinctions. The main focus is on the formal/textual qualities of games in relation to cinema, although reference is also made to aspects of industrial and broader cultural context. The paper also considers some more general questions raised by the use of paradigms from one media form in relation to another.


Encoding liveness: Performance and real-time rendering in machinima

Cameron David Carroll John
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Machinima is the appropriation of software-generated 3D virtual environments, typically video games, for filmmaking and dramatic productions. The creation and distribution technology of machinima tends to hide the nature of the performer, provoking consideration of a definition of ‘liveness’ that can accommodate the real-time rendering of screen content by game software in response to human input, or – at the extreme – as if there is human input in accordance with performance parameters coded by humans. This paper considers the continuum of creative modes that machinima makers work on, and the differing aesthetic/technical decisions affecting the level of liveness in the finished production. Machinima films derive from captured gameplay, puppet-like live improvisational work, cinematic or televisual on-camera performances, and totally scripted performances produced using coded commands. Often, the real-time rendering capability of the game software is only critical at the point of image capture, but once the footage has been saved as a video file it is editing and post-production that becomes the focus of much machinima production. Even live improvisational pieces – whether performed in a real or virtual venue - are generally better known via their capture and distribution as video clips to a wider post-performance audience. This paper also explores machinima making as a community of practice, that is a specific group with a local culture, operating through shared practices, linked to each other through a shared repertoire of resources. Digital performance communities of practice emerging from video games and machinima production can be seen as having levels of engagement with a range of other communities, most obviously the gameplaying, game modifying, CGI animation and filmmaking communities. Consideration is given to how, from a dramatic viewpoint, the performers within a machinima production are also operating in much the same way as in-role improvisation occurs within the community of practice associated with process drama - a strongly framed environment defined by a ‘digital pre-text’ - the common digital environment that provides the agreed fictional context for the dramatic action to unfold in.


Cinematic Camera as Videogame Cliché

Thomas David Haussmann Gary
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Because the videogame camera is not an optical camera, it can be programmed to represent a potentially infinite number of perspectives beyond the classic, representational linear perspective. However, an ongoing collusion of the optical camera and the videogame camera leads videogame designs to favor cinematic visual patterns. Classic videogames show a strong tradition of non-optical, non-cinematic perspectives and prove the potential for the videogame medium to expand beyond optically-true perspectives. In fact, this paper argues the development of videogames as an expressive medium depends on an understanding of cinematic perspective as a form of visual cliché’