|Moving Digital Puppets|
Game-based machinima remains a form of digital puppetry in which the virtual characters are used to perform an event. As they carry out the necessary expressions, virtual characters turn into digital puppets and performative objects. Consequently, the way these virtual puppets are controlled is important for the levels of expression achieved. Yet, the mapping of game controllers onto virtual characters rarely supports such expression. So, while the principle of digital puppetry in machinima stands, the way it is enabled in practice is problematic. This paper investigates this challenge by first examining the historical evolution of the virtual puppet, before providing an overview of different implementations of game-based interfaces as puppet controls, including First Person Shooter (FPS) controls, gamepads, motion controllers, body as interface, body armatures and Kinect. Our conclusion positions machinima as a form of digital puppetry within a technological and cultural framework.