I am looking for examples of William Gibson's dictum, "The street finds it's own uses for things." What happens when technologies get loose from their inventors? What turns good little inventions into runaways?
I came across a great example yesterday. "Machinima" uses video game engines to create virtual worlds that can be explored interactively or render to digital movies. Machinima has been used to create commercials and music videos, but what's best about it is that it gives average individuals access to the kinds of tools major studios use to make $100 million blockbusters.
One of the best examples of this emergent art form is "The Journey,"
From an article on machinima.com:
Machinima's a new form of filmmaking that uses computer games technology to shoot films in the virtual reality of a game engine. Rather than picking up expensive camera equipment, or spending months painstakingly tweaking even more expensive 3D packages, Machinima creators act out their movies within a computer game. We treat the viewpoint the game gives them as a camera - "Shooting Film in a Virtual Reality", as we've been known to put it in their more slogan-high moments - and record and edit that viewpoint into any film we can imagine.
You don't need any special equipment to make Machinima movies. In fact, if you've got a computer capable of playing Half-Life 2, Unreal Tournament 2004 or even Quake, you've already got virtually everything you need to set up your own movie studio inside your PC. You can produce films on your own, or you can hook up with a bunch of friends to act our your scripts live over a network. And once you're done, you can upload the films to this site and a potential audience of millions.
Another good resource is the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. Here is their definition:
Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment.
In an expanded definition, it is the convergence of filmmaking, animation and game development. Machinima is real world filmmaking techniques applied within an interactive virtual space where characters and events can be either controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence.
By combining the techniques of filmmaking, animation production and the technology of real-time 3D game engines, Machinima makes for a very cost- and time-efficient way to produce films, with a large amount of creative control.