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September 29, 2004



Troubling Utopia

From Edward Picot's review of AVATARA's DVD\"Machinima Documentary" by Donato Mancini, Jeremy Turner and Flick Harrison (536 Productions).

Avatara, from a Canadian team called 536, is a documentary about an online community - "a global subculture who spend their lives immersed in an online 3-D voice-chat program", as the blurb explains. What makes this particular documentary special is that "every second... was recorded in-world (ie. online, within the virtual environment), so we don't meet the people directly. Instead, their voices speak to us through the puppet-like 'avatars': rabbits, pharaos, seahorses, giraffes, the grim reaper, flowers, guitars, trolls (etc) which they've chosen to represent themselves in cyberspace." Because of this immersive approach the documentary is more than just a factual report about these people and their private activities: it gives us a sense of what their world feels like from the inside.

Posted by jo at September 29, 2004 04:20 PM


The making of AVATARA by Donato Mancini & Jeremy Turner: http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/Process/index.cfm?article=110

Posted by: Jo at December 9, 2004 01:56 PM