Addressing Classification and Copyright

So I decided to make a separate blog post addressing the concerns on copyright and classification relating to my chosen concept of online video experimentation – gaming.

So gaming’s been a relatively new concept since the introduction of video-sharing mediums such as YouTube, before it would only be highlighted through low budget review shows on television as well as advertisement. But now gaming’s a rather versatile genre capable of getting a wide variety audiences – it sounds like another typical genre only there’s one main concern when creating something through the gaming genre – copyright.

Now for our 2nd Project in this OVE studio, Apple and I have decided to work with gaming and Vines, thankfully for the game I’m working with (Counter-strike), the developers and publishers (Valve) have an implied sense of freedom to use their content to your desires. It’s implied through their promotion of Tournaments being streamed through Twitch, their features in-game that allow users to download, watch and record their own games and many more factors that imply that Valve is very lenient when it comes to recording and sharing their content. However, many other companies tend to take this matter a bit more seriously, mainly because they want to make as much money as possible. For example, companies such as SquareEnix only allow certain people to exploit their content online when a game is released because for starters, if the person is popular (which they most likely are), it would promote the game to a wider audience. This is because they don’t want people simply watching the game online as opposed to physically buying a copy and playing it yourself. But eventually as time passes, they begin to let more and more people upload their content when they believe their sales have already peaked as high as it can get.

As a studying media professional however, regardless of what game content I’m going to be using, it’s still a good idea to try and get in contact with the game developers/publishers themselves to make sure that what I’m doing isn’t going to be a breach of copyright and cause all sorts of havoc.

It’s the same with music as well, although I may not be exploring this particular game, game’s such as Grand Theft Auto which have built in radio soundtracks tend take copyright issues seriously because they themselves are liable for copyright/contract breach by the record companies that allowed them to use their music and no one else. But if I were to eventually work with music and they happened to be owned by a record company, I would send an email asking for permission to use it as opposed to risking any sort of copyright breach. Although I did use a song in one of my sketches, thankfully that track was free.

TL:DR – So even though I’m working with the content from a developer that’s really lenient with copyright, I would still email them asking permission to use the content just to be safe.

Now with classification, for this particular game content I’m using (Counter-Strike), it’s classified under either M or MA15+; the reason I can’t find a definite answer is because they don’t sell hard copies of the game (that I know of) and the only way to purchase this game is electronically where they don’t clarify the rating most of the time.

Moving on, since this game’s intended for viewers/players of a certain age, it’ll probably need to have some sort of restriction placed upon it as a media professional, so I would probably set the video/blog post as password protected – providing the password only to those suited for the content – also placing a disclaimer to make sure people know what they’re getting into. Something like ‘Caution: Swearing and Violence’ which are mostly present in all of my sketches.




OVE Project 2 Sketch 5

In this sketch I’ve decided to use found footage in-game to try and see if I could combine it with the structure of a Vine video, more specifically however, to see if I’m able to compress it down to 6 seconds (typical Vine duration).

Here I’m working with the same equipment, however I’m focusing on creating something that really feels like a Vine – duration and style/format which is very difficult to do using in-game found footage. This is because when recording a game, for starters you don’t really know what’s going to happen most of the time and for a game such as this (Counter-strike), it takes time to be able to do anything really worth while, so to compress it all into 6 seconds seems near impossible. However, I did end up managing to do it only because some friends and I were mucking around, not really taking the game seriously. This makes it easier because there’s much more content I can pick out from and cut together to create a comedic Vine video.

This time I made sure to use Fraps to record both the voice and the in-game audio, the program I used to communicate with my friends is TeamSpeak 3 – a program specifically designed to give you the best communication between peers whilst in-game as it only captures sound when a person is speaking as opposed to skype in which sound is constantly captures. Personally I think this combination works, however, if I were to improve anything from this it would be plan or even write a script that I could perform in-game to make it even easier to create a 6 second video.

OVE Project 2 Sketch 4

For this sketch I’ve decided to experiment with how music changes how a gaming video is portrayed and how it can manipulate the structure and effect.

In this sketch I’ve placed music track over the original footage to see how it would affect the structure. Thankfully the music was provided freely by the artist(s) Dropout ft. ZADA. Rather than exploring how I can apply this to a Vine-like structure, I decided to see how music affects the footage and I’ve learned a few things from this experiment.

First of all, the choice of music I made falls into to the electro-house genre, as do many other gaming videos showcasing things such as skill. I believe this is because electro-house is fast paced and has several bass drops or drops in general that really work well with the sudden change in content within the game. I’ve also learned that in order for a video like this to really work, you’ll need as much time as you can get which doesn’t really I find doesn’t really seem appropriate for a Vine. The reason for this is because footage like this takes time to build up so as to make a larger impact when the music drops and the much more engaging part of the gameplay is showcased. I’ve managed to make this video around 30 seconds long, however I believe it would have much more of an impact if I could drag it out by another 10 seconds or so.

Same thing as before – using Fraps to record and Sony Vegas to edit.

OVE Rough Sketch Presentation Reflection

Today in class it became clearer on what I needed to work on in terms of reflecting on my sketches is being able to inform the audience/readers what they are watching as well as the technicality behind it – equipment being used etc.

However, a possibly bigger issue about reflecting something like gaming is explaining copyright issues and ethical issues. I’ll need to explain and given an outline to the type of audiences ‘suited’ to play/watch this kind of content, despite the internet being a mostly free online space, as a media student – in this profession i’ll need to be able to explain and outline ethical issues to avoid any offense that may be taken by the panelists or possible (very unlikely though) the game company itself.

TL:DR | Issues to address/outline:

  • Classification (what age group is appropriate for this content)
  • Technicality (what kind of equipment did I use in the production process)
  • Concept (what am I exploring/trying to do in this piece)
  • Copyright (outline how far copyright laws may go in terms of using footage from games and maybe even music)
  • Context (referring to copyright and classification in terms of explaining how the gaming community and video sharing have become a new issue/concept).
  • Exploration/Understanding (why am I trying to experiment in certain ways, for what purpose may these video experiments be for?)
  • Terminology (be sure to use correct terminology for certain techniques/equipment etc.)


OVE 4 R’s Reflection

Reporting: The only real main concern I have in this studio so far is getting a really clear understanding of what is it to explore a hybrid narrative form. This is obviously relevant in the context of the project because it plays a large role in the creation of our sketches. So far I’m not quite sure if my sketches go in that direction of looking at and experimenting with this concept of a hybrid narrative, especially if I’m basing my sketches off something mostly non-narrative (gaming), but at the same time I also feel I have the potential to explore such a thing because I’m trying to combine it with a Vine-like structure.

Relating: From the narrative reading I reflected on a few weeks ago, I guess  have some understanding on it, but to apply it is a different thing. However, I may have a better understanding than I thought when I think about my experience with video making.

Reasoning: As said earlier, given my experience of making videos on YouTube, being able to really think about the content of the videos, why I’ve made it the way it is could answer my questions about what really defines a hybrid narrative and how I can apply it to my sketches. In terms of relevant theory, Dr. Caroline Bassett’s reading on anti-narrative kind of gives me an idea of how to define narrative.

Reconstructing: How can I approach this next time? Well after reflecting I’ve thought of an idea of how I may explore a gaming video in terms of creating a hyrbid narrative. Thinking about it, it’s feels quite simple, despite the games I’m exploring being non-narrative, I may make a story out of it regardless using dialogue or even text/caption.

OVE Project 2 Sketch 3

Here I’m working with a variety of different equipment/software. But in terms of content, I’m steering away for a bit from the whole comedic Vine-like structure and more just experimenting with quality/technicality. In this sketch I’ve decided to use in-game found footage with live-action footage to see if I would be able to combine them to create some sort of hybrid narrative.

Again, I’ve used Fraps to record the in-game footage and used my dslr camera at 12.1 megapixels to record the live-action footage, and finally edited it together with Sony Vegas 13.

It was easy thinking up of a simple idea base this video around – a simple narrative of a guy who’s into the game immensely before being ‘shut down’, leaving him confused. However, finding in-game footage to go with this idea was quite difficult when considering what kind of footage I’m looking for. What I found that worked was the whole shift from camera quality to in-game quality that set’s up a nice transition from the real world to what’s going on behind the computer screen – creating two different world as opposed to my first sketch that feels set in a single world.

What I felt could’ve worked better however is if the live-action audio quality was better, although some may think that having that lower quality adds to the whole ‘two world juxtaposition’, I feel that in order for a piece like this to flow more smoothly, it’s audio should at least be around the same quality as the in-game hi-def audio.

OVE Project 2 Sketch 2

In this sketch I’ve decided to work with text within a gaming video that has been fitted into a micro-video format.

Still working within a ‘short-video’ time frame, I’ve decided to take found footage from in-game during one of my sessions and see how I can work with it in terms of using text to change the context of which the audio would’ve told otherwise. It was quite simple to add text and animate it to move in the video during post-production mainly because I’m familiar with using Sony Vegas 13 to make my own videos. The program I’m using to record this footage is Fraps that allows you to record your desktop screen – however, it’s not a program everyone can use because firstly, despite it being HD quality, it also places a massive strain in terms of processes and memory consumption – and the file sizes are massive so you’ll essentially need a separate external hard drive to be able to store the files.

What I felt worked in this sketch was that by using text/caption in order to change/set the context of the video, I was allowed much more time to work with because reading feels faster than talking in my opinion. However, what could’ve made this piece work better is if I added some sort of music over the background probably, not loud enough to ruin the in-game sound and not soft to the point where it’s barely noticeable.

I also find that by using text, the found-footage becomes much more versatile in terms of being able to manipulate what’s being portrayed and what kind of context the video is placed under. Found-footage is difficult to work with as it’s very straight forward, you have to work with what you get, but thankfully for gaming videos, it’s only a matter of removing the communication audio and letting the game play for as it is.

OVE Project 2 Sketch 1

A video experimenting with the Vine style format with the gaming genre. Specifically, the style of a Vine being mainly focused on expression and reaction cut together rapidly during editing. It’s not quite the duration of a Vine but it’s still a relatively short video with duration of around only 17 seconds.

I’ve decided to work with a dslr camera, mainly because of convenience as recording something like this on a phone would be a pain, specifically because you can’t really mount a phone onto anywhere to adjust height especially if we’re limited on helpers. So in terms of technicality, in order to get the simple close up shots of our reactions, a friend and I took shots of each other and as for the gameplay footage itself, I used a simple DIY (do it yourself) technique of placing the camera on top of a couple of books, keeping it stationary, stable and unmanned yet adjusted for the height of the television screen. As for editing, I use Sony Vegas 13 because I’m familiar with it more than most other editing software.

What I found could work better in this video was the audio quality, not really for the live-action footage but rather the game footage. I’d either have to increase the volume of the television if I’m planning on recording like this in the future or else I’d have to use in-game footage with crisper audio quality because in a gaming video, the audio quality tends to be a major factor in how well the video is portrayed. Also I could probably work on decreasing the duration to 6 seconds like a regular Vine video, however, what I’m really working with here is just working with a Vine video format and merging it with certain aspects of gaming – being a full shot of the gameplay itself.


OVE Project 2 – Sketch Concept(s)

For our sketches, our group has decided to choose this particular form of online video (seen below) – videos such as vines where the duration is intended for a simple 6 second view before the viewer moves on, typically to another video. Given the context of this video in relation to previous definitions of what makes an online video, it would be placed under the genre of a comedic microvideo. Our sketches will be based on the several aspects of what creates a video such as this, the comedic element, how it’s structured and especially how long these videos typically are.

Vine Video we’re using as an example.

What Apple and I have decided to try and work on is a mixture of a Vine video with the gaming genre, however, because Apple doesn’t have access to equipment that can fully bring out the potential in a gaming video, I’ll be focusing on sketches involving in-game recording and found footage whereas Apple may be experimenting with aspects from a Vine video itself – such as duration, style, etc.

An example of a gaming video that may be adapted into a short 6-20 second clip is shown below:

Anti-Narrative Reading Analysis/Reflection

Dr. Caroline Bassett describes narrative as a means of telling a story, not just any story, a story that can be passed down from generation to generation even through societal, cultural or technological changes She describes a narrative to be what defines us, our lives in a sense is a story and it’s what we make of it that will determine how well it’s passed down. However, narrative for her tends to become less ‘natural’ as the acclaimed technological advancements shifts the way we share story/narrative. With the introduction of a new digital age, narrative has been manipulated and experimented with.

Aside from the traditional linear structure of classic Hollywood film, Bassett outlines the change narrative have gone through by using terms such as ‘anti-narrative’ which focus on deconstructing the traditional linear structure – this involves deliberately avoiding traditional narratives factors such as  a coherent plot and resolution – something that we today living in a society able to access video/media instantly anywhere, see all the time; we’re even able to see it sometimes in certain films.

How this relates to our work as online video analysts is that by having an understanding of how narrative have been changed over the years, we’re able to work out what essentially may make an online video. Most online videos tend to be short, to the point whereas other forms such as a wed series may tend to stick to a traditional linear narrative structure. By having the two types of narrative placed before us, we’re able to experiment in several ways in our own production of online video.