Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Virtual Worlds, Machinima and Cooperation over Borders (Published in 'Sans Public')

Image of the avatars of Isabelle Arvers and Jenna Ng from the upcoming publication Understanding Machinima

Cooperation over borders between individuals and groups is possible using online three-dimensional virtual worlds. This cooperation occurs in the production of art, research, teaching and learning, and performance as well as in building social, professional and personal contexts. The borders that are crossed can be geopolitical, generational, spatial and embodied. In order to maintain coherence for people to meet, talk, build, write, perform and exchange in virtual worlds, a sense and understanding of place is required. Such human activities as meeting are reliant on a shared space and place. This chapter integrates the idea of sharing places in examples of how virtual worlds can provide common spaces and places from a series of projects involving art, documentation, teaching and communication. By using examples of one artist’s project and several machinima – videos made using screen-capture software on computers, to film places and avatar actors in virtual worlds – I argue these virtual worlds can enable cooperation over a variety of borders through sharing.


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