mckenzie wark interview in halo 09.28.2006, 3:16 AM
posted by ben vershbow
This interview with McKenzie Wark was conducted inside an online version of the Halo 2 video game as part of the upcoming fourth episode of This Spartan Life, "a talk show in gamespace." Many thanks to Chris Burke and the TSL team for doing such a fantastic job. Click the image to play (it's a little under 14 minutes):
From the interview, here's McKenzie on collaborating with readers inside his book:
"It sort of brings out what writing always is anyway, which is that, in a sense, you're always the DJ of other people's thoughts and ideas, and this just makes that manifest."
Also see this interesting thread in the GAM3R 7H30RY forum from a while back -- a discussion between McKenzie and Chris about "glitching" and other forms of trifling or hacking within the game (the bread and butter of machinima filmmakers), and whether this can lead to real freedom. There's a moment later on in the video where the debate gets wonderfully concretized in the physical landscape of the game world.
We "shot" the footage back in August at Chris's studio in Brooklyn. I managed to snap a couple of hazy pictures with my camera phone:
On the left you see the room where Chris and the two camera operators have their consoles. On the right is McKenzie in his own little cave. Everything is recorded through video feeds running out of the Xboxes. Ken and Chris talk over headsets and move around the game environment while the two "cameras" follow behind (the cameras are just the perspectives of the other two gamers). The chaos during Ken's reading at the end is the work of other online gamers from around the country -- TSL groupies who like helping out with shoots and generally raising hell. Seeing Chris try to coordinate this rambunctious crew long distance was highly entertaining.
(If you haven't seen it, also check out This Spartan Life's interview with Bob from their first episode. A real treat.)
KeelBug on September 28, 2006 12:45 PM:
I'm a groupie? lol.
Was a great interview, loved it.
Byran125 on September 28, 2006 8:19 PM:
Yes Keel i agree a great interview
IM NO GROUPIE! ha ha =]
J. L. L. Yates on September 28, 2006 9:10 PM:
Deinitely a TSL fanboy, but as a person deeply interested inn both the future of the book and gamerspace as presented by McKenzie, the end scene came off quite chilling. There's that old hustler line "I knew the game was crooked but it was the only game in town". A bit reminescent of when people could still choose to enter the games or not, perhaps.
Nick on September 28, 2006 10:33 PM:
Mckenzie - this is Sgt Hartsock, from "this spartan life". we enjoyed having you on the show and it made for a fun ending as well, we enjoyed on opening fire on your position at the end there.
Anyway, thank you for your time and your words of wisdom. Do come back!
emerson on September 29, 2006 12:00 AM:
wow i feel sorry for ken at the end. he sure got wasted
Chromium on September 29, 2006 3:56 PM:
Apparently, I'm a groupie too. Ah well, I should have known.
We really did enjoy having you on, Mr. Wark, and I've been reading through some of your work, and it is fantastic. Keep up the good work, and I'm sorry I tried to kill you at the end there. Well, not really that sorry.
matt on September 30, 2006 3:23 AM:
sweet, but dont you think TSL is too smart for a game like halo? i mean, maybe thats the point a little bit, but i dont know.. its too deep sometimes for a game like that, not saying halo isnt amazing, but still.
at least it isnt wow.
Angelo AKA Madtsunami on October 6, 2006 12:17 AM:
the beginning was cool, nice bit of editing
I love then end the most though, It really gave me an insight on the world we live, not to mention delight in the fact that i will be a TSL groupie this Christmas and participate in those firefights
Damian on December 12, 2006 11:28 PM:
Somehow I missed most of these comments until now. I am glad that some of our online assistants wanted to comment here.
This interview changed the way I look at our part in the evolving gamespace. Thanks Ken. Thanks Ben and Bob and the rest of the FotB peeps.