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How Machinima Works

How Machinima Works: Author's Note
Jonathan Strickland, Staff Writer
Jonathan Strickland, Staff Writer
hsw 2009

I first became aware of machinima before I even knew it had a name. I'm a fan of the "Halo" video game series and discovered a comedic Web series called "Red vs. Blue." The series used the "Halo" game engine as a digital puppet theater, with the puppeteers controlling multiplayer characters. Instead of shooting each other, the guys behind "Red vs. Blue" would manipulate their characters to act out scripts. As I was writing this article, our site director, Tracy Wilson, pointed me to a charmingly silly machinima music video for the Jonathan Coulton song "Code Monkey." That's how I became a Jonathan Coulton fan. I still like machinima -- when used correctly, video games are a great vehicle for storytelling. But I think all potential machinima artists need to remember that the story should always come first. The tools are useless unless you have something to say.


  • Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences
  • Georgia Tech Machinima Group
  • Machinima Premiere
  • Methenitis, Mark. "Let's Talk About Machinima." The Law of the Game. April 2007. lets-talk-about-machinima-part-1-of-3.html
  • Museum of the Moving Image
  • Newitz, Annalee. "Machinima for the Masses." Wired Magazine, January 25, 2006.