Noah has recently become very interested in machinima and is planning on working seriously to create some of his own -- especially now that he received a fast new graphics card for Christmas and bought a new, larger hard drive of the "kids' computer." I've been vaguely mystified by the genre and its attractions. Heck, I didn't even understand what it was for the longest time. Machinima is the process of using computer game sequences and video-screen-capture software to create short videos. Rather than drawing animations or using stop-motion techniques, you set up the computer game and its events and characters in such a way that you can play your way through and cause to happen on-screen sequences which can then be captured and pasted together into a video. This may involve scripting through the game's map editor or level editor in order to create the virtual environment or "movie set" that your video needs.
Noah loves the creative aspects of machinima creation -- the edition of clips and transitions, the adding of soundtracks. He's done a few little tests and has been waiting for his hardware upgrades in order to do more. He also likes it because the raw material of the machinima is the computer games of which he is so enamoured -- and that creating a machinima invites the him to exercise the scripting and editing skills he's developed over the past year or two. So far he's mostly been testing his software, and hasn't really got around to creating a storyline, but you can see what he's experimenting with at this link -- capturing video, editing it together and putting it with audio tracks.
He really enjoys watching machinima on YouTube. I would be embarrassed to report Noah's YouTube lifetime videos-viewed stats. Here's a link to a machinima that's not particularly slick, but quite creative and funny -- done by an on-line friend of Noah's for a school history project. Just beware -- recently a regular reader of this blog clicked on one of the thumbnails in one of Noah's blog-embedded links that was apparently quite inappropriate. It's clear that machinima, while nothing like pornography itself, attracts some of the same teenaged boy audience, and so the "related popular videos" links YouTube presents through statistical analysis sometimes lead to questionable content!