This article investigates the emerging internet phenomenon of machinima, which has been described as an example of the convergence occurring between computer games, films and the Web. Looking both forward and back, machinima uses 3D game engines and networked environments to produce work that is primarily traditional, linear and narrative. The use of the internet by the machinima community to promote the form was evaluated and the apparent conservatism of machinima's approaches to visual storytelling was considered. Through my research, which combined a critical viewing of key works, a review of relevant literature and a practice-based component producing a machinima work entitled Ending With Andre which screened at the 2005 Machinima Film Festival in New York, I have argued that one of the most distinctive features of the form is not apparent in the finished work but occurs during the production process, in the ways the user/filmmaker interacts with a 3D game environment.
Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society 2006