Machinima as a Business Language

February 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm (Home, Machinima)

Photorealistic avatars are possible

Article by Ariella Furman, originally posted on

The world of business embodies many different languages. Machinima is just one of those languages, that when combined with a brand, can produce limitless possibilities. When I first entered Virtual worlds, I started out by making a documentary about a Second Life Amazon tribe for my film class for fun. This work was noticed by a few solution providers whom I teamed up with. After working with some great brands, I began to follow them out of curiosity. Why machinima?

After analyzing the many uses these brand managers had for their products I realized, how valuable machinima is for business, in no particular order:

  • Machinima is a very versatile medium. You can stream it in Second Life, post it on Twitter, share it on Facebook. It lives, eats, and breaths advertising and Web 2.0 like no other medium. It can spread like wildfire.
  • Video is a fully-immersive media; it combines many different tools such as music, images, text, etc. to engage all of the senses. The viewer is left with a more impactful experience and absorbs more information in a shorter amount of time
  • It’s also portable! Going to a meeting? Stick it on your iphone.
  • Machinima is a bridge for those who can’t access Virtual Worlds. If your brand is doing something huge in-world, they best way to reach a wider audience is to release it to those still surfing the regular web. This might inspire them to get an avatar and head over to your sim.
  • It’s a new technology and you’re setting technological precedent by investing in a big project. A lot of people are mesmerized by the new sensation of an avatar and the future of things like Augmented technology. It shows your brand to be on the up and front about it.
  • Machinima is extremely cost efficient. It costs less to make than traditional video and it defies the laws of gravity. You can fly and do more in-camera effects. With a good builder and scripter, you can show a building emerging out of the ground within a few hours of work.
  • Archival purposes. Sims don’t last forever, but a video does.
  • The technology is growing and just a little over a year ago, we didn’t have the addition of Windlight and shadows. The graphics of the game looked completely different. They looked more cartoony, now they have more dimension and depth as well as resolution for more realistic images. This also gives more control over specific looks you wish to recreate (film noir, anyone?) The better it gets, the more you’ll be able to do for a decent price (compared to traditional video).
  • Machinima leaves a very small carbon footprint. Most of the collaboration during a production is just done over a computer.

After viewing the ways these fresh, innovative brands took advantage of machinima, I know that in the end it’s up to the imaginations of people who have a story to tell.


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