Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Holmevik, Jan R

Committee Member

Haynes , Cynthia

Committee Member

Howard , Tharon

Abstract

Beginning with corporate demonstrations and continuously evolving into today, machinima has become a major expressive art form for the gamer generation. Machinima is the user-centered production of video presentations using pre-rendered animated content, as generated from video games. The term 'machinima' is a combination of 'machine' (from which the video content is derived) and 'cinema' (the ultimate end product). According to Paul Marino and other members of the machinima community, Hugh Hancock, the creator of Machinima.com, first coined the term in 2000. Video productions of this kind have been used in various capacities for the past several years, including instruction or marketing, as well as rapid prototyping of large-scale cinema projects (Marino).
In this thesis, I will briefly outline the current research on machinima. I will then build a methodology for my own rhetorical analysis of machinima as they formulate the promotion of their arguments. This methodology will include examples from major rhetorical theorists, including Lloyd Bitzer, Kenneth Burke, and Gunther Kress and Theo VanLeeuwan, among others. I will then apply my analytical tools to modern user-generated machinima from a variety of sources as a series of case studies. These cases include non-profit and for-profit examples, as well as educational and entertainment examples. Finally, I will explain how this framework may be used as a guideline for rhetorically sound and effective machinima.

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