Machinapiece Theater

4 05 2010

Most clips of machinima are pretty clear with their intentions. They are meant to tell a story, and they do so in a pretty straightforward fashion. One of the most famous pieces of machinima, though, is much trickier. The famous “Leeroy Jenkins” video was filmed and presented as though it was actual footage of the game being played (Which, I mean, it is, but…GAH THIS IS CONFUSING!). This piece of “stealth machinima” shows a party of World of Warcraft users preparing for a big battle. All their plans are ruined, however, by an overzealous fellow named Leeroy Jenkins.

Of course, it turned out to be fake. The numbers they are reciting are just babble. But the video clip grew to popularity because it so accurately reflected the obsessive-compulsive nature of many WoW players.

Most machinima films take place as though the characters in the game were real, and not being controlled by human players. “Leeroy Jenkins,” on the other hand, turns the players into the characters (?) and the characters into…avatars?

Man, this is hard. Let me try this again.

Instead of a self-contained piece of fiction occurring within the game universe, “Leeroy Jenkins” is actually a sly commentary about WoW players in the real world. There. That’s better.

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