Thursday 11 February 2010

Thomas Paine in Machinima

This makes me wish I could read Chinese...
This game is no mere game. This virtuoso machinima “shot” entirely within virtual the World of Warcraft land of Azeroth is one of the most humorous, poignant and downright moving satires we’ve ever seen in China. The War of Internet Addiction (网瘾战争) is a many-layered creation that takes a good bit of unpacking. It’s a gutsy and surprisingly direct criticism of Chinese Internet censorship that touches on dozens and dozens of the major memes that created so much buzz on the Chinese Internet in 2009. At the very least, it should put to rest any assertion that Chinese lack creativity. Surprisingly, this hasn’t been written about as of this time in the mainstream western media, though Chinese media has reported on it fairly extensively. We’re frankly surprised that it hasn’t been “harmonized” yet.

Directed by someone calling himself “Corndog” (性感玉米, Xinggan Yumi, literally “Sexy Corn”) and dubbed by over 20 gamer volunteers, this home-made hour-long virtual fable-cum-political satire was produced in only three months using in-game footage from WoW’s China and Taiwan edition. The movie was first released on January 21, 2010, and quickly spread online even as Avatar was taking control of 3D screens across China. More than 10 million Chinese netizens have watched this movie on their low-resolution computer screens. More than a few Chinese netizens have hailed The War of Internet Addiction as more valuable, and more entertaining, than Avatar.
World of Warcraft helping to spread freedom. Whole post linked above worth reading; it includes selected translated excerpts from the machinima as well as the whole video.

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