Ideas for the Syllabus

The first thing that comes to mind when I think digital storytelling is Red Vs. Blue. Ten years ago a group of friends got together and made a comedy about halo Spartans. They had the idea to try to tell a funny web series using the engine of Halo: Combat Evolved. Using voice over techniques, the creators of Red Vs Blue developed a storyline that “was still a better love story that Twilight”. Eventually you grow attached to the characters and end up watching video after video in the ten season long adventure. RvB episodes are often very short, ranging from five to ten minutes. For those who are looking to give the series a start, I’ve linked the first episode above. I highly recommend browsing Rooster Teeth productions, especially if you are the kind of nerd that enjoys video game humor.

This second one is a little bit unconventional. The name of the series is Forward Unto Dawn, I’ve linked the first episode of five above. Its a live action story of a group of Cadets in the Halo universe. Yes, I understand this is another Halo suggestion but, this five episode series is phenomenal. All five episodes are on Youtube, and what is even cooler is that the whole thing is Machinima Productions. The series is very interesting because it puts some human emphasis on video game characters. While a little bit long, (each episode is about twenty minutes) the series does keep the attention of the viewer.

My final suggestion is a site called Bear 71. This vid doc style of storytelling follows a Grizzly bear in Canada. The site allows you to use the on screen prompts to see our main character bear’s daily life events. You are assigned a number, human ######, and are put on a map where your narrator is Bear 71. She talks to you throughout your journey. You are allowed to wander around the area and listen to the story of this bear. There are multiple cameras that catch video of the bear wandering the wilderness. I’d highly recommend this for anybody that ever had an interest in nature. Bear 71 acts a lot like the those old national geographic movies, where one animal is followed throughout its whole life.


~ by brogarn on January 12, 2013.

4 Responses to “Ideas for the Syllabus”

  1. Bear 71 is already planned for the syllabus!

  2. I like the use of Halo media, both live action and straight from the video game, because we can analyze the effect of video games on storytelling, using Red vs Blue as an example of using the actual gameplay to tell a story, and using Forward Unto Dawn as an example of how different media can be brought up and created based on the stories of the games.

  3. I can remember when Red vs. Blue first got popular. I think it would be really cool if we talked about machina in conjunction with the ways in which storytelling is benefiting from hybrid forms. In a way this is sort of like high concept films, but I think Halo is a really interesting example because so much of the culture is fan created. It is cool to see what is allowed to become canon and what remains fan fic.

  4. I’m a huge Red vs Blue fan. Browsing through the archive got me thinking about how the series has evolved. Arguably, what began as an pioneering piece of machinma has become much more conventional animated action series. I think we could learn a lot about the relationship between machinima and traditional video narratives by studying that evolution, which I feel started in season six: Reconstruction. The season is very appropriately named, as it marked a major shift in the tone and form of the series, combining in-engine machina with post-production editing and animation. Sidenote: this is personally my favorite season of RvB, featuring its most innovative machinima, compelling story, and rib-bruising laughs.

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