For those not familiar with the term, Machinima – you can pronounce that ‘ch’ as either a ‘k’ or a ‘sh’ by the way – involves making films within computer modelled environments, typically within 3D game environments. (See a more extensive definition at machinima.org, or just google ‘YouTube Machinima’ and open up any one of the thousands of results that you get.) It might not be the sort of thing you would expect to be the focus of study inside a medieval literature course at university, but Graham Barwell (University of Wollongong) and Chris Moore (Deakin University) thought they might give it a shot. They put together students studying digital communications with students studying Chaucer, and asked them to produce between them a machinima piece that reinterpreted Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale within the setting of the World of Warcraft (WOW for short) game.
A horrendous dumbing down of Chaucer? Or all part and parcel of that long and well established tradition of reinterpreting classic literature into contemporary settings? …. Well, hear how Graham and Chris rated the success of this initiative in our interview with them. And see what some of their students produced in the YouTube video below.