Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance

by Tracy Gaynor Harwood (De Montfort University), Ben Grussi

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Since its birth in 1996, machinima (machine-cinema) has grown into a truly global phenomenon – and its latest transformation is evident in the Lets Play community. Machinima is the first digital culture to have emerged from the internet into a mainstream creative genre and it has taken shape as an important fan culture. Its impact has been felt across many aspects of popular culture and its influence can be found in contexts such as the arts and cinema, performance, creative technologies and social media, politics and citizenship.

This book traces its history and impacts through a selection of the most culturally significant works. It firstly sets out to describe the key films, provides an overview of the creative processes and interviews with filmmakers and contributors involved in their development. It then traces their release and impact among fans, users and appropriators, supported with material and interviews.

This important new work focuses on the specific disruptive socio-cultural impacts of key works identified by the community and Harwood research over a period of 10 years – from film and filmmaking to digital arts, practice and theory. The book will be of interest to machinima researchers and practitioners, including game culture, media theorists and digital artists, and those interested in how creative technologies influences communities of practice over time.

1. Introduction
2. In the beginning: Diary of a Camper
3. Rooster Teeth bites
4. Machinima! [.com]
5. The French Democracy in action
6. Stolen Life bring news life
7. Cirque du Machinima anymation
8. Al Hansen, Fluxus enacted
9. ….
10. Conclusion

Dr Tracy Harwood is a researcher at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. She was director of the First European Machinima Festival in 2007 and has been researching the socio-cultural impacts of machinima ever since. She has keynoted and spoken at machinima and digital arts events around the world, highlighting the creative and social disruptive aspects of machinima in practice. In 2014, she was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (England) to evaluate its cultural values (see Her research into machinima has been published in leading digital arts, visual culture and marketing journals including Leonardo, Digital Creativity, Journal of Visual Culture, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Consumer Behaviour and others.

machinima, digital art, creative technologies, digital culture

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Book Title
Machinima – Socio-Cultural Disturbance
Number of pages
Physical size
Publication date
November 2020