Research Findings

Findings are based primarily on qualitative research techniques, summarised in table 1, given the aim of the research was to generate rich insight into machinima’s cultural values across a range of stakeholders.

Initially, a netnography of machinima and online community fora was conducted to generate insight into the breadth of applications of machinima. Subsequently, interviews, focus groups and an online survey were used as the primary data collection methods.

Interviews and focus groups conducted with machinimators sought to understand the breadth and depth of cultural values of machinima through creative practices, including personal skills developed; the ways in which they collaborate and develop community and the values generated from such communities of practice; the impacts they perceive on their audiences beyond the immediate communities of practice; and, the economic benefits they derive or contribute to through their practice. An online survey (administered through Survey Monkey©) was designed to sit alongside the interviews, with a view to reaching a broader spectrum of machinimators using different computer games platforms.

Interviews and focus groups with games developers / publishers sought to understand how the organisations (micro / small or ‘indie’ and larger) directly benefit through contributions to their profit motive; how machinima and machinimators influence development of their value chain from suppliers to end users (customers); how they relate to their market context and competitors; and, their awareness of broader societal impacts of machinima, especially when it is based on their products. EULAs and TOS were also included in the evaluations of games developers / publishers.

Interviews with digital arts festivals and galleries curators sought to understand how machinima adds value to their cultural offer, including its contribution to their profit motive; the ways in which is enhances audience engagement and development; how they support professional artist / machinimator development; and, how they relate to the broader creative industries sector.

Technique Number of Respondents Analytical Approaches Applied
Netnography 235 films and links provided by 230 followers @machinimAHRC (Twitter) Thematic and content analysis of films and machinima fora
Focus Groups (Second Life© and face-to-face) 3 focus groups of 20 machinimators, 1 focus group of 2 games developers Content analysis of interview transcriptions; machinima productions
Interviews (Skype©, face-to-face, email) 6 Machinimators, 12 Games Developers, 11 Digital Arts/Festival Curators Content analysis of transcriptions
Online Survey 64 machinimators Descriptive statistics
Table 1 Summary of Responses / Data Analysed by Research Method

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