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Wed, Aug. 10th, 2005, 10:52 am
This Spartan Life

I generally find machinima to fall into one of two categories: yawn-inducing or pretentious. Of course there are exceptions - Red Vs. Blue, the cleverer songvids - but machinima that is about new media art tends to exemplify the worst of both worlds. This Spartan Life, though, manages to avoid being either, even though it's a talk show about new media art taking place in Halo Online. What makes it charming are the interruptions of the game world into the scripted conversation of the talk show; the host periodically has to take off to kill the random players who show up and start shooting at the guests, and the "Body Count" segment is priceless. The conversation, unfortunately, tends toward the technoidealistic ("Imagine being able to walk around inside a book!"), but no one actually sounds stupid. If only they'd chosen a world where they could show their faces! I got bored of looking at helmets by the end.