Sweet Success: Making Machinima for Sugarcane Farmers

Helen Farley, University of Southern Queensland Part of CW12

Machinima is the art of using virtual worlds or games to make films. Second Life has proven popular venue for the creation of machinima for a number of reasons including the ability of users to create custom content, the facility to reuse items made by other users, and the capacity to readily alter avatars and landscapes. Though this medium is used by budding film makers to create fictional pieces and simulated documentaries, educators and researchers have also been quick to spot the potential of this form.

This paper reports on a project undertaken by the Australian Digital Futures Institute and the Centre for Sustainable Catchments both at the University of Southern Queensland to use machinima to inform sugarcane farmers’ decisions around sustainable farming practices. Future issues such as regional sustainability and predicted changes to climatic regimes will place an even greater burden upon struggling rural farming communities. This project will improve decision-making by regional communities, policy-makers and civil society through the development of an innovative, web-based, discussion support system, leading to sustainable and resilient regional areas.

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