Machinima/Rooster Teeth

I love Machinima.

Machinima "concerns the rendering of computer-generated imagery (CGI) using real-time, interactive (game) 3D engines, as opposed to high-end and complex 3D animation software used by professionals." 

Basically, its a bunch of cool folks, like Roosterteeth (, making entertainment using video capture of video games and laying over an audio track of dialogue.  Roosterteeth, with whom we have worked on EA (NBA Street) and Sims 2 efforts, really blew up on the strength of their "Red vs. Blue" series based on the XBox game ‘Halo’.

Here are two examples of their work – the first is from P.A.N.I.C.S., their spoof of F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault and Recon), the second is from The Sims 2: The Strangerhood, which they created using, yep, Sims 2.

P.A.N.I.C.S. (People Acting Normal in Crazy-ass Situations)

And here is the article/interview from IGN with Matt Hullum of Roosterteeth, on the making of The Strangerhood.

Sims 2 The Strangerhood

Here’s a quote from that interview:

IGNPC: So how’s it different doing movies for Sims 2 as opposed to Halo?

Matt Hullum: It’s radically different and very enjoyable but it required us to completely change our mindset on the animations. Using Halo is kind of like puppeteering where the characters we’re manipulating don’t really have any thoughts or AI that drives them, they just kinda do whatever they want but at the same time, they’re expressionless. With the Sims it’s fascinating and different in that it’s almost like working with real actors. The way it works in the game is that everyone has basic needs so you have to learn to manipulate and adjust those needs in order to get those characters to do what you want in the shot you’re trying to create.

Sound familiar?

TXTual Healing

Can’t get enough of that Digital OOH?  here’s one for you from PDX’s fresh Tenny P: TXTual healing

per Tenny, "It’s basically an interactive form of graffiti based on SMS text messaging. Maybe not as visually intriguing as laser tagging, but the mobile aspect of it is pretty cool, since so many teens and young adults already know how to text."

The simple explanation is: users sends SMS message by cellphone, receiving computer converts it through to mobile projector that beams image. The whole system is mobile and with the right projector/beamer, quite bright.

Here’s a shot of how it looked in NY – users could populate the text balloons.


Here’s a video that demonstrates the process of posting to the bubbles. You send a text message from your mobile to a mobile paired to a computer. It’s all autotmatic and there’s no filter.

Comprehensive DIY instructions on mobile projecting.

news/ digiOOH

·         Video of beamvertising (with nice technobeat) campaignin Rotterdam for ‘sportlife’ gum

(thanks for the link, Michele!)

What happens when content distributors aren’t

They’ve been around for a while, but if you haven’t had the chance to check out Netvibes DO!

It’s a comprehensive, customizable, personalized website that takes all the content you have, the content you want that’s distributed around the internet and pulls it all together on your Netvibes page. This can include your Gmail account, your Flickr images and pretty much any RSS feed that you want.  The rapid adoption of Netvibes is an example of three major connected forces:

  • the micro-fragmentation and re-distribution of content
  • user control of their personal media consumption,
  • ability (and desire!) of people to strip content out of a traditional ad delivery context

These are significant trends that raise pretty significant issues:

  • Are you prepared to break your content (including advertising!) apart so people can distribute and use it on their own terms?
  • How do content providers monetize their investment when people can strip it down to component parts and reconstitute, SANS advertising?
  • Can content providers provide added value content to consumers  to get them to embed or use your content on their own sites or at sites like Netvibes, even if it carries a sponsor message or content?


Think of an enginet as a self-contained, networked media ecosystem.  The basic gist – don’t just make a web presence to have one – the ideal web presence meets your business objectives and people’s needs and becomes self-sustaining through community engagement.

Spectrum DNA creates enginets (networked media ecosystems), and their most recent launch is  The site features words created, commented and voted on by an active community.  Words that garner the most attention can be purchased on tshirts, mugs, etc.

Jim Banister, author of Word of Mouse, outlines the four key components of an enginet as follows: Code, Content, Commerce, Community. leverages these components-

  • Code – provides a robust and scalable server hardware and software platform to suppoort significant activity
  • Content – people enter their favorite fake words for consideration by the community, and examples include:
    • skipish (verb) excessively arrogant and mighty; rude or insolent; Fundamentalist Christian
    • scarecity (noun) how scarcity and scare tactics are part and parcel of the same energy. How scarcity consciousness prevails by using scare tactics.
    • crapitalization (noun) Beginning words with uppercase letters in a seemingly random pattern.
    • crapitalize (verb) Capitalization with no regard to the rules or common usage. Placing capital letters at the beginning of words in a pattern that can best be described as completely random.
    • ignoranus (noun) A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
  • Commerce – most popular words are available on apparel

ignoranus Cap-sleeve Women's T-shirt

Community – includes the ability to comment on and rate other posts, forward to friends, etc.

Other enginet examples include: ebay, second life, amazon, etc.

Google Life?

Google and Linden Labs (makers of Second Life) have been meeting.  Rumors of those meetings have been among the worst kept secrets in the marketplace.  Second Life was out at the Google campus to do a presentation on their universe this past year,

and rumors have been circling about Google partnering with or buying Linden Labs, or constructing a complete, "playable" virtual world out of Google Earth.

"I would expect to see someone using Google Earth as a virtual social space by the end of the year," says Jerry Paffendorf, research director of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, a futurist organization (in "Google Moves into Virtual Worlds", Business 2.0, 2006.12.14 )

Jeffrey was an organizer of the Metaverse Roadmap Summit, a gathering of programmers of virtual worlds.  That summit featured disagreements among:

"those who believe the Web should stay as a 2-D environment with 3-D components, and those who want the Web to become a 3-D metaverse-like environment where your avatar can call up 2-D screens if and when they need to – say, for a word-processing program.  Those in the latter camp believe, like Paffendorf, that Google Earth is the most likely candidate to become a metaverse. Just add avatars, they say, and the possibilities are endless.

Consumers could fly into the virtual New York, go shopping in a virtual Times Square, get past the velvet rope at a virtual Studio 54 and chat with an avatar dressed as Andy Warhol. They could plan their next trip to the real New York in meticulous detail, become a detective in a Gotham noir, browse an apartment for sale, or jump into a taxi and play a driving game.

…By 2016, Google Earth should be a very crowded place indeed."


The Metaverse Roadmap Group (yes there is one, and yes the have a cool logo) held a conference in 2006, and made a wide range of predictions, including the advent of Lifelog systems.

"Within the next ten years we’ll see the emergence of “lifelog” systems, wearable or ultraportable recording systems that capture and autotag the user’s audio, GPS, 3D visual, or other experience (travel, classes, work, private gatherings, etc.) and wirelessly uploads this life history to a web-accessible server for potential sharing among friends, archiving, and later selective examination. Such systems will be adopted particularly early and widely by youth in the more developed countries with technophilic cultures (Korea, Japan, etc.)."

If you thought reading people’s deep inner thoughts on their blogs was a waste of time, wait til you have the chance to vicariously experience every relentlessly geospecific moment of their lives.  Sign up for the RSS feeds now, before there’s a line.

tyranny of transparency_1

in case you were wondering if mobile was much more than ringtones, paul brought his mobile phone to Kohl’s and snapped some unflattering pics, then paired them with brand statements from Kohl’s marketing materials…think of the potential for every human being with a cameraphone to be an untethered Ralph Nader, given that the largest seller of digital cameras in 2005 was…Nokia

click here to see the fun

Wii and Graffiti? Wii ask?

That crazy Wii seems to draw a crowd…

WiiTube’s name should be self-explanatory: it’s a niche video site for Wii videos. Not to be confused with WiiToob, which launched a few weeks back and offers a big interface for interacting with YouTube videos on your Wii, WiiTube is a brand new site that’s more concerned with videos about the Wii than providing a bigger interface for viewing on a console.

WiiTube is a particularly nice attempt – it includes ratings, tags, profile pages, commenting and special sections for cheats, clips of your awesome Wii skills and trailers of upcoming games. Videos aren’t uploaded to Wiitube, though – instead, you just add the embed code from YouTube, Google Video,, Metacafe and other popular sites.

In some ways, sites that do this (Flixya is another one) are leeching bandwidth but keeping the ad revenue – if they’re using Adsense, then perhaps GoogTube isn’t too worried, though.

L.A.S.E.R. Tag

Within the next 10 years, defense contractors expect to be able to a solid state laser mounted on a Hummer that can put a hole in a sheet of metal from several miles away. Dutch graffiti writers got the jump on them with this Hymermobil-mounted L.A.S.E.R. Tagging system.  See it in action, and get your socks knocked off by clicking here. Drive-In GIF Theater in Rotterdam

Produced by the GRL. Here’s over sixty uncurated 22 x 41 pixel animations submitted via email from writers, artists, activists, jokers, lunatics and 13 year-olds.

click here for the feature presentation

    Renny rambles about things he likes, but mostly technology, culture, and marketing. Any resemblance to anything that seems like something his employers would condone is purely coincidental. As is his consistent and annoying use of the third person. Which he should stop.