Tonight I’m doing visuals at the 8static show in Philadelphia with chip musicians Cheap Dinosaurs and Starscream. If for some reason you’re not in Philly (i hate you), you can watch the live webcast tonight on Ustream or in the player below. I’ll be debuting my first visuals using the Open Emu QC plugins — wish me luck!


The show lat night went really well. 🙂 Paris and Outpt’s visuals were astounding, especially their set with Nullsleep: the work they’ve put into collaborating with Jeremiah really shows. I’ll put up some video of my sets this week. Technically, the Open Emu debut went really well — no crashes! Did have one hang, though (not sure of the cause), and two kernel panics (Bluetooth, when connecting the Wiimote). :X

8static: Starscream’s first song from plasticpool on Vimeo.

One video up, more to come: this is the first song of the first set of the night: Starscream (Damon on chip, George on drums) and my visuals. You can hear tracks by both bands on MySpace.

I generated the video live using the Open Emu QC plugins, which let me play original NES ROMs in emulation, live. I used two ROMs, one written by No Carrier and another called Polar Pinwheel by Chris Covell. These ROMs are being played totally live — no pre-recorded video — and partway through the song No Carrier picked up the controller and jammed with me. 🙂

If you’re interested in using No Carrier’s ROM, watch my blog and/or his site for its upcoming release (free and open source).


Update: they posted the winners

You can read the list of Mackie winners on Machinima.org.

We won! Tonight at the Machinima Filmfest 2008, This Spartan Life won a Mackie for Best Series. Woohoo! Thank you to the Academy, the judges, the festival sponsors, our friends on the forum who help us shoot every episode, and Chris for getting me involved in the show.

If you’re a fan of the show, here’s a sneak peek at the as-yet-unreleased Episode Six that we submitted to the festival. If you’re new to This Spartan Life, watch the trailer for some context, and then our past episodes if you’d like to see more. Oh, and here’s the award itself, which was made in Eyebeam’s 3D printer. It’s more red in real life and is made of plastic, not cheese.


WTF? TSL and machinima explained

If the paragraph above means nothing to you, let me explain. This Spartan Life is a talk show set in the game Halo 3 on XBox Live. We interview real life guests (artists, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs) using Halo as our soundstage. In plain English, we sit our guests down, slap a controller in their hands, and walk around the online gamespace with them while discussing their work — it’s animation on the cheap, using off-the-shelf game consoles. We record the audio and video straight out of the XBox and edit it into episodes that we distribute online. The show has music, dancing, and storylines from a cast of recurring characters (myself included) and devoted fans of the show as extras and bit players. I do the cinematography with Chris.

My favorites

There were some amazing, beautiful films in the festival this year. Here are some of my favorites.

The Ship, Egils Mednis (Latvia): A stark, restrained vision of two hungry wanderers in a bleak Arctic landscape, well deserving of the Best of the Fest Mackie it won. In the field of machinima, which frequently leans towards pastiche and self-reference (to gaming), this beautiful film stood out.

Zachariah Scott (U.S.A.) Ignis Solus, Zachariah Scott (U.S.A.): Like The Ship, Ignis Solus told a wordless, visual story, with wit, charm and “invisible” cinematography: so good that you didn’t notice it.

Ian Chisholm (U.K.) Clear Skies, Ian Chisholm (U.K.): Excellent voice acting and a tight script full of deliciously dry British sarcasm and wit.

Smooth Few Films (U.S.A) A Day in the Life of a Turret, Smooth Few Films (U.S.A): I don’t know if this one will make sense to people who haven’t played Portal or follow Internet memes and I don’t care: it’s really funny and the music perfectly underscores the mood and timing.

Andrzej Kozlowski (Austria) Apocalypsis Ex Machina, Andrzej Kozlowski (Austria): Purely on a mind-bending, symbol-jamming level, this is worth seeing. On top of that, it’s got the technical wow factor for the intricate workings of its churning, glowing machine.

Virtual Video Project, Global Kids (U.S.A.) Race to Equality, Virtual Video Project, Global Kids (U.S.A.): I was a bit disappointed that my students from the Virtual Video Project didn’t win for Best Student Work, but happy to see them honored for all their hard work and study. They also spoke on one of the panels with my co-teacher Tabitha Tsai.

Olli Viljanen (Finland) The Device Has Been Modified, Olli Viljanen (Finland): A fun, stylish music video that mashed up imagery and dialogue from Portal with video shot in World of Warcraft.

My friend Don (a.k.a. No-Carrier) got sick and asked me to sub for him this Friday at Lit Lounge, playing with Nullsleep, Anamanaguchi and Cheap Dinosaurs. Feel better, Don! Here’s the show flyer and info.

The Blue and Red 3D Spectacular
Cheap Dinosaurs

Friday, 9 pm
Lit Lounge (2nd Ave between 5th and 6th St)
$6 cover (I think)
Ages: 21+


demo reel from plasticpool on Vimeo.

The latest and greatest version of my demo reel, edited by the fantabulous Benton-C Bainbridge. Watch it in HD!

Music: “Compressoratorer” by Lucky Highstepper.

This Saturday at The Tank, we’ll be doing a live This Spartan Life show, hosting Pulsewave, the monthly chiptunes event. Is machinima. Is funny. Has live music. Hope see you there.


This Spartan Life Hosts Pulsewave at The Tank July 26 with 3 live chiptune acts!

Please note new address for The Tank, below

Damian Lacedaemion will be joined by AeroMC, Fyb3roptik, Dan O’Conduit, Amber of the Solid Gold Elite Dancers and 8 Bit Collective forum members, live on screen via XBox Live!

In gamespace, no one can see you sweat.

Pulsewave is the monthly live chiptune music event in NYC. This Spartan Life is the award winning “talk show in gamespace.”

Your host, Damian Lacedaemion enters the unpredictable multiplayer universe to interview various guests and luminaries all within the 3D gamespace of Halo 3 on Xbox Live.

This time, Damian and the crew from This Spartan Life will be on screen live to host a special Pulsewave with musical guests from the upper reaches of chiptune Valhalla:

Unicorn Dream Attack
Neil Voss

Visuals by the incomparable No Carrier!
Special machinima videos!
Live interaction between avatars and audience!
The bizarre and frightening world of the ub3r 1337 on graphic display!

All with a heavy dose of CHIPTUNES and EXPLOSIONS!

Don’t miss it!

Saturday, July 26, 2008 at The Tank
87 Lafayette St @ White St
New York, NY, 10013
Cost : $10
Doors open at 9PM