Friday, August 23, 2013

News Machinima Man: Draxtor on the Virtual Beat

Draxtor....and media for all!

The August BOSL (Best of SL Magazine) featured journalist extraordinaire Draxtor Despres.   I am not sure whether Second Life residents understand the critical nature of his work - not only significant for expanding the boundaries of machinima, but for redefining the role of journalism.    

Okay, first let's explore the idea of journalistic machinima.    Old roles of machinima deal more with capturing game footage.   A player wants to share his action footage, a great move or play within a game, and viola machinima is the means to do so.    Machinima can still do that, but it also evolved as a canvas for artistic work and storytelling.  One of the most wonderful forms of storytelling, of course, is journalism.   That's because it focuses on real people.    As in the real world, Second Life is filled with inspiring stories from everyday people, who break out of their ordinary situations to accomplish something extraordinary or to be recognized for some amazing effort.    

Well you get the idea.     Machinima brings us the message.   We wrap it up in virtual footage, and share it with our friends and their friends, and so forth.    

Draxtor has produced more than 200 machinima that give us a glimpse, not only into his mind, but into the virtual world.   He is not merely telling the stories of SL residents, but he wants to evangelize the authentic (REAL) creativity possible within virtual worlds.    Besides documenting these efforts, he has also challenged us politically and socially via his comedic series, Flufee on a Meshion.     

Draxtor is a filmmaker, storyteller, musician, and journalist - and you might say - educator.    We learn about Second Life, and the creativity unleashed within people like you and me.   We are inspired to try - or to at least appreciate the value of participating in the making of media. 

And - we are encouraged by a media maker - Draxtor!   A real guy, living in both worlds.   He's got a kid and everything.  The guy is real!  He is a real journalist.  Not someone role playing as a journalist or documentary producer.   At times, he has POV (point of view);  other times, he shares that of the people he interviews. 

Let's now focus on journalism.    If you consider that everything you do in a virtual world is really happening - and that it takes your very real time to do it, then you begin to understand that it has relevance to your life - either because of the time spent or the efforts realized.     The Drax Files: World Makers captures  Second Life - the game and the game players - at its best.  The topics are as diverse as those he interviews;  

for example, his latest two episodes feature MadPea Games and  Elie Spot.    

His segments converge RL and SL, mixing video footage from each, to tell stories about people - whether they choose to present themselves through their avatars, or their human persona, or both - they are people.    

Fairly simple concept.   Powerful though.   Draxtor is all about people.    We begin to see maybe the boundaries between real and the virtual are fairly invisible for the dreamers, the inventors, and audiences that choose to see life as a continuum of creativity.    Draxtor has done that for us.   

Read his interview in the August BOSL edition, authored by yours truly.    What's great about this interview - is that I get to report on the reporter who reports on the wonderful world(s) we live in. Draxtor loves Second Life, but he just loves life in general!  You can tell when you watch the outcome of his labor, which is becoming a burgeoning archive of virtual testimony on creativity unleashed and captured on machinima.  Go Drax Go!   

I love a great story!    So let's put on our panda pjs and snuggle up to a good Drax story.    Drax, be sure to feature who ever created this rocket ride! 

Draxtor...and media for all!, see,
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The Professional Machinima Artist Guild and Lowe Runo Productions graciously host Magnum:  The Machinima Review.  Sonicity Fitzroy, author of Second Life, Media and the Other Society (Peter Lang, 2010) and Machinima:  The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking (with Lowe Runo, McFarland, 2012).