Agency, simulation, gamification, machinima: An interview with Isabelle Arvers

Jenna Pei-Suin Ng, Isabelle Arvers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


I looked up Isabelle when I was visiting Paris for a weekend, having already known a little of her interests in and read her published articles on machinima. As Isabelle filled me in on her numerous projects curating, exhibiting, and teaching with machinima, I grew increasingly fascinated with her work and initially wanted her to document her projects as a chapter for
this collection. Her work with machinima presented yet more perspectives on how it may be and has been used. Yet, upon reading her first draft, I felt such documentation robbed her projects of their essential dynamism—prose reportage could not capture the exhilaration with which she experimented, played with, and explored machinima. Essentially, I felt the only way was
to re-enact the conversation we had in Paris, but by then I had returned to Cambridge, Isabelle was back in Marseilles, and neither of us had travel plans to cross each other’s paths again soon. The solution was obvious: we would meet and talk in Second Life and film the conversation, at the same time, as a self-reflexive machinima —machinima about machinima—taking form
simultaneously as documentation and presentation. The edited transcript of the interview, conducted on March 1, 2012, is as follows, covering some of Isabelle’s recent involvement with machinima in France and her gauge of their success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Machinima
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on filmmaking in virtual worlds
EditorsJenna Ng
Place of PublicationNew York; London
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Number of pages251
ISBN (Print)978-1-4411-0448-9, 978-1-4411-4052-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • machinima
  • Digital media

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