The term "machinima" (machine + cinema) has been coined to describe movies made using video games. In addition to being an inspiring new "film" genre, it's also at the cutting edge of many important legal questions at the intersection of copyright, trademark, and contractual restrictions (i.e., EULAs and ToS). At the same time, some video game vendors have begun reaching out to embrace machinima.
On April 24-25, 2009, Stanford Law School will be hosting "Play Machinima Law," a timely conference examining these issues, where I'll be one of the speakers. Recommended!
This two-day conference will cover key issues associated with player-generated, computer animated cinema that is based on 3D game and virtual world environments. Speakers include machinima artists/players, legal experts, commercial game developers, theorists, and more. Topics include: game art, game hacking, open source and "modding," player/consumer-driven innovation, cultural/technology studies, fan culture, legal and business issues, transgressive play, game preservation, and notions of collaborative co-creation drawn from virtual worlds and online games. Films will be shown throughout the conference, including: Douglas Grayeton's Molotov Alva and His Search for the Creator and Joshua Diltz' Mercy of the Sea.