Slate has payed the world of gamer geeks a big nod by creating a slideshow of YouTube videos showcasing the very best machinima, a style of film made using the actual video games to create the scenes.
Now I must admit; I have been skeptical of machinima because the few videos I had seen were relatively sophomoric productions. However, many of the videos showcased by Slate are actually polished and funny productions.
My favorites: The Avril Lavigne music video made with “The Sims 2,” the comedy in French made with a flight simulator game, the Evel Knievel-style skiing adventure short made in “Line Rider,” and –if you’re not too prudish– a “World of Warcraft-“made spoof on the Broadway musical Avenue Q with its theory on why the Internet is around (porn, that is). Okay, maybe that last one IS sophomoric, but heck, it was well-done sophomoric.
I fervently believe that elements of gaming are going to increasingly become important for journalism. The interactivity, 3D exploration and feeling of community will likely be be increasingly replicated to provide a richer experience on online news sites. Randy Stewart recently wrote a splendid post on how Web sites are successfully using some gaming techniques. It’s a language that us young whippersnappers have been speaking nearly since WE came out of the box. It’s how we use our thumbs so darned fast too.
The Point: If you’re a senior manager at a newspaper site, and you haven’t really spent some time on an XBox, a Playstation or roaming an online gaming community (just watching your kid doesn’t count), then you’re missing out on some critical knowledge here.