Funding for the Methods Network ended March 31st 2008. The website will be preserved in its current state.

Dream Machines: The Intersection of Live Arts Practices and Game Engine Technologies

A workshop and seminar series organized by Jonathan Dovey, University of Bristol (21 - 22 January 2008)

(html) Workshop Programme
(html) Workshop Participants
(pdf) (html) Workshop Report
(html) Dream Machines wiki
(html) Dorkbot Bristol

This workshop is at the intersection of live creative practices - dance, drama, music - and on-line worlds and other game related technologies such as Machinima (films created using game engine software).

Game engines can be used to create worlds, situations, objects and textures with a resolution in many cases comparable to CGI animations, but using a fraction of the processing power and computing speed. The purpose of the project is to draw together experts in digital and telematic performance around the newly installed access grid node in the University of Bristol’s Drama Department Wickham Theatre as a way of generating future creative and platform research.

The series will be a hybrid of seminar and hands on workshop activities using practice based research methods. The series is a collaboration between Bristol University Department of Drama: Theatre, Film and Television and the Bristol University based Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT).

The events will address the following research questions:

  • What is the process involved in making a Machinima?
  • What is the process involved in doing live in-game theatre through avatar puppetry?
  • What is the process involved in doing distributed performance using multiple participants?
  • How does a game experience relate to a live experience in an art space or event space, and what opportunities and drawbacks of these experiences will be presented by their combination?
  • We will assess the state of game engines for liveness: how easy is it to adapt a time-based in-game performance?
  • How do game based performance themes adapt themselves to related human thematics such as identity, isolation, intimacy or inadequacy in the face of technology?
  • What is the potential for ‘user generated’ participation in game engine based online performance events?

AHDS Methods Taxonomy Terms

This item has been catalogued using a discipline and methods taxonomy. Learn more here.


  • Dance
  • Drama and Theatre
  • Media and Film Studies
  • Music


  • Communication and collaboration - Audio interaction - synchronous
  • Communication and collaboration - Video-based interaction - synchronous
  • Data Capture - Digital motion capture
  • Data Capture - Digital moving image capture
  • Data Capture - Digital sound recording
  • Practice-led Research - 3d animation
  • Practice-led Research - Audio mixing
  • Practice-led Research - Digital moving image capture
  • Practice-led Research - Digital sound recording
  • Practice-led Research - Photomontage
  • Practice-led Research - Sound editing
  • Practice-led Research - Virtual world modelling