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

Report by Jonathan Dovey, Ale Fernandez and Barry Parsons

'My life is a vast ghetto littered with neotolkien elves, eight-barrel rocket launchers, endless hordes of faceless muscle-bound goons, armor-cum-lingerie, the seven artifacts of the evil overlord, a billion overacted cut scenes, terrorists-du-jour, neogeiger aliens, hovertanks, troglodytes, vampires, and +7 potions of healing; all set in a neo-post-industrial steam-cyberpunk castle with teleportals and elevators and platform puzzles in every room.'

Game Artist Brody Condon, Killer Instinct exhibit at New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2003 (

Dream Machines was a two-day workshop exploring machinima, avatars, performance and liveness. The original research questions addressed by the AHRC bid were:

  • What is the process of making Machinima?
  • What is the process of involved in making live in-game theatre using avatar puppetry?
  • What is the process involved in doing distributed performance using multiple participants?
  • How does game experience relate to a live experience in an art space or event space – what opportunities and constraints are presented by their combination?
  • How easy is it to adapt a game engine for live performance?
  • How do game based themes adapt themselves to related 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?

Read the report...

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