Gamers Show the Creators of Doom How It's Done


Machinima Film Festival
November 12, Museum of the Moving Image

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  • Pixar for the People
  • Anyone who's played the fighting game Soul Calibur might suspect that its Voldo character is a bit weird, what with his leather-bound face, pervy codpiece, and creepy, serpentine moves. But Chris Brandt's home-brewed music clip Dance, Voldo, Dance shows just how freaky he can actually get: Brandt and a friend spent a full week learning the exact button combos to get two versions of Voldo dirty-dancing in unison to Nelly's "Hot in Here," then recorded the thumb-numbing feat live on video. A virtuoso in-game performance, it's one of the most impressive works on view at the Moving Image's Machinima Film Festival, a showcase for little movies made by using video games as virtual studios. (The term "machinima," from "machine" and "cinema," postdates the practice, which numerous geeks discovered independently.) Most of the selections skew toward puppeteerish comedy, including the now canonical Red vs. Blue, which enacts witty banter using faceless Halo warriors, and Shutup and Dance!, which gets some World of Warcraft denizens comically butt-shaking. More surprising is This Spartan Life, a real talk show created inside Halo 2 on Xbox Live, with guests dodging gunfire during interviews.

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