red vs blue

A while ago on one of the net-art email lists I subscribe to, there was discussion about performance in video games, using the game engines to create new worlds, or using multi-player and taking a feed from the screen to edit it. This week, Halo 2 arrived and has made more than $100 million in sales already, putting video games clearly in the same realm as block-buster movies.

Not having an X-Box to play it on, but wanting to see some video from it for a Halo-based performance I’m working on, I stumbled across Red Vs Blue. Now up to episode 43, it follows the dim-witted daily life of Red and Blue Teams as they do battle, learn to drive a tank, and generally wonder what they are doing in the universe. It’s a work of genius, up there with the best of South Park or Beavis and Butthead.

From there, I stumbled over to Machinima a giant site of films made using game engines. From the juvenile Red Vs Blue using QuickTime to view, to Blade Runner done entirely in Unreal Tournament 2004’s Matinee. ALl of this is a world of animation that is daunting in its sophistication, yet often incredibly simple in its piggy-backing on the gaming environments and engines.