Tag Archives: discussion

A Horrifying Fusion of Unproductivity

You can now play Peggle and Bejeweled while playing World of Warcraft.   That is to say, it’s an addon that lets you open a window within WoW and begin one of these game.

It’s an interesting social phenomenon, and perhaps an interesting step in the direction of a unified internet, but all I can really think right now is “THE END IS NIGH!”

The Definition of Machinima

So, we discussed this a bit in class, but I think it’s still a bit of an issue.   As such, I’d like to put forth a few pieces and ask if people think they are Machinima.

Obviously, RedvsBlue is Machinima.   It’s people controlling the characters in highly intentional ways to create a traditional (if absurd) narrative.

“Leeroy Jenkins,” too, seems to be Machinima, although it is posing as an unscripted gameplay video.


But what about this video?   It’s a serious attempt on (at the time, several years ago) a new boss.   However, they do have a dedicated “cameraman,” since no UI is showing on the recording.   The use of music, too, seems to have a pretty big impact on the footage.   And there’s definitely a narrative here.


I’m not sure if it’s Machinima or not, but I can’t say I can just clearly dismiss it.

Anyway, I think it’s worth questioning how much you have to be “using things in unintended ways” for it to be Machinima, since the act of recording video games is (until recently) rather unintended in and of itself.

Fan Fiction and Rule #34

So, for anybody not familiar, Rule #34 of the internet is that “if it exists, there is porn of it.”   The articles for this week demonstrated an interesting example of that phenomenon, and the internet seems to be the catalyst that lets this exist.

As we have mentioned before, subcultures thrive on the internet because it unites people who are otherwise  divided.   It takes surprisingly few people to create an active subculture, but without the web, it is unlikely those people would ever meet.   Sexual subcultures are an even more extreme example, as it is very unlikely that people will mention even fairly tame  sexual fantasies in passing conversation.   The internet, however, strips away both social  constraints around these issues via anonymity  and the physical  boundaries that divide people who share an interest in them.

Fanning the Flames (forgive a horrible pun)

I was very intrigued by the article “Why Heather Can Write,” and was surprised that there was no mention of the historical roots of fan fiction.   Fan fiction is not a recent invention.   The Aeneid is, in essence, a piece of fan fiction, taking a minor character from the Iliad and expanding upon his story (whether this piece of fan fiction shows signs of that other hallmark of fan work, I will leave up to your interpretation).

The recent trend towards a desire for every part of a story to be original is just that: recent.   Most works that received substantial notoriety prior to the last few centuries were either retellings of existing stories or were advertised as such.   Myths and legends are another example of “fan work.”

It is very interesting that the internet has provided an easy way for people to simultaneously return to an earlier model and drastically expand upon the way it works.