|Virtual Lens of Exposure: Aesthetics, theory and ethics of documentary filmmaking in Second Life|
This chapter reflects on the concept of docu-machinima -- the convergence of machinima and documentary filmmaking inside 3D virtual worlds. Informed by the author's Second Life machinima practice and semi-autobiographical, point-of-view documentary, Second Bodies, this analysis explores the complexities of non-fiction filmmaking inside virtual reality. Jean Baudrillard's theory of the hyperreal is applied towards an understanding of the interplay between real and virtual in machinima representation. Second Life and Second Bodies are sites of inquiry for investigating the following: docu-machinima's aesthetic, performative and technical dimensions, the expressive qualities of computer-simulated environments, the nebulous boundaries of player-avatar identity, and the ethics of capturing identities and narratives inside game engines.