A Reflection on machinima, re-mixing, remediation and ‘what does this have to do with my game?’

Play-testing my card game over the past couple of weeks and taking another look at the readings thus far has made me realise a few things.

While I stated that there were a few points of inspiration for my card game, like Fallout 3, as well as the card game Smash Up, I hadn’t really taken the opportunity to expand and re-mix with it.

As said by Barwell and Moore (2013 ,p. 211) “machinma appropriates and re-mixes older media forms an styles to find new approaches to doing things with the available technology” This statement really resonated with me after a second reading, because I realised that to take my game to the next level, I could draw on the game mechanics and themes in Fallout 3 to make my own game stronger and have more mass appeal. The challenge now could be: how does one ‘translate’ the mechanics and ideas of a digital game, into cards? What I’m talking about here is ‘remediation’, the idea of taking a computer game and taking its ideas into a new form, as well as critiquing and expanding upon them (Barwell & Moore, 2013, p. 212). I will, in a way, also be remixing the board and card games that I have been inspired by, because I am taking parts of their mechanics and themes are creating something new. This attempt at this sort of project will be the first time (I would say) where I have more actively engaged with games that I have really enjoyed. I was always content to just ‘play’ the game, to interact and to leave the experience at that. I had always thought of myself as a ‘participator’ just because I was playing the games and enjoying them.

It has made me question everything I had known about gaming, I almost feel like my gaming experiences have been shallow in comparison because I have been happy to just consume, without feeling the need to reconstruct and re-mix in a community of like-minded people, enjoying the games I enjoy. Games, even since the slot machines of yester-year, have been created with the idea of providing an experience that takes one away from their everyday troubles (Hutamo, 2005, p. 13), but these early slot machines experiences were fleeting, with the only participation being the placing of a coin in the machine and pulling the lever. The rest of the experience was pre-determined by the creators of the machine. The ideas of gaming and entertainment have come a long way in terms of providing more interactive experiences for ‘players’, as well as, I have now fully realised, opportunities to ‘participate’ in communities that enjoy the same experiences you do, and to create new material and share.

So, as you can tell, I have decided to try and make my card game more closely related to Fallout, and make a sort of ‘remix’, taking elements of the radioactive meltdown theme, survival themes and the creatures found in the game. More details on my new approach here.

References:

Barwell, G. and Moore C. 2013, ‘World of Chaucer: Machinima and Adaptation’, in Understanding Machinima: Essays on Filmmaking in Virtual Worlds, edited by Jenna Ng, Continuum: London.

Huhtamo, E 2005. Slots of Fun, Slots of Trouble: An Archaeology of Arcade Gaming. Handbook of Computer Games Studies, edited by Joost Raessens & Jeffrey Goldstein. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

3 thoughts on “A Reflection on machinima, re-mixing, remediation and ‘what does this have to do with my game?’

  1. I like this idea of remixing another game into yours, because players can honestly be stubborn and be stick to one type of game their entire life, for me it’s counter-strike. It’s what we’re used to and this allows for an ease into the next similar game that comes out. Actually this reminds me of hearthstone, it did quite the reverse of what you’re trying to achieve but essentially it’s the same idea! Hearthstone was an adaption of other popular card games like Magic the Gathering, it was digitized! Here’s a little article that compares the game mechanics of both Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone, I feel like this could help when making your own mechanics for your fallout inspired card game :)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great point above linking this idea to counterstrike. The idea of remixing a game to suit a different niche is’nt new and I’m super stoked that you are embracing that idea. Any headway on more specifics related to incorporating some of the more complex game mechanics in to the card format? Keen to see more from this!!

    Like

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