After Hours

Making movies in unconventional ways


I am a

dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying geek of long-standing and I am going to prove

it to you. I play games on the PC, which is not all that geek by itself.

However, one of my favorite genres of computer games is the massively multiplayer

online role playing game, also known by the acronym MMORPG, which isn't really

more efficient or easier to pronounce.

I've played

and or beta tested games ranging from Everquest to Asheron's Call to Dark Age

of Camelot. Most recently I have been adventuring in the World of Warcraft with

about 4 million other people around the world. Besides the normal RPG activity

of fighting and leveling your character there is a small group of dedicated

individuals who record a visual record of their exploits, edit that "footage"

and make a movie out of it.

Surprisingly,

some of the movies are actually pretty good, exhibiting real talent. The twist

is that the movies are not about the game; the game is just the conduit for the

visual. I don't think these movies will win Oscars in the near future, but

there is something appealing about individuals using sophisticated animation

that they can control as they play the game to make what are essentially

independent short films.

It is just

another instance of creative individuals finding ways to express themselves

using technology in a manner it was not originally designed for. I've included

a few links to some of my favorite movies made in this manner. Keep in mind

that the majority of the visuals were taken from actual game play. Sometimes the

movements don't quite fit with the scene, but you'll get the general idea.

World

of Warcraft Rise of the Living Dead Episode I

World

of Warcraft Rise of the Living Dead Episode II

World

of Warcraft Lost Movie

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

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