How Machinima Works

By: Jonathan Strickland

How Machinima Works: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • Machinima comes from combining the words "machine" and "cinema." It refers to using a virtual environment -- usually a video game -- in order to create video content. The first examples of machinima involved capturing game footage from first person shooters like "Quake." Eventually, gamers began to capture footage and overdub it with an actual storyline.
  • Capturing video footage can be tricky -- you may need a special video card and computer to hook up to a console or software that lets you record game footage. Several recent games have built-in game capture features, allowing you to make machinima without buying extra equipment or software.
  • Just because you can make machinima doesn't mean you should -- some video game publishers are protective of their intellectual property and may object to you using their product as a storytelling medium. Policies vary among publishers, so it's good to do research before jumping in.