Many people love both movies and games, but not everyone knows that they can mesh the two together. Making movies using games remains popular in both the US and China.

The machinima genre has actually been around for years. Some may remember Diary of a Camper, a short film made using the first-person shooter Quake way back in 1996. Perhaps better known is Red vs. Blue, a comedy series that originated as a simple voiceover of the Xbox game Halo: Combat Evolved. Started in 2003, it’s the longest running episodic web series.

Red vs. Blue is the hit online machinima show now in its 17th season. (Picture: Jonathan Whisenhunt/YouTube).

Machinima has continued to evolve over the years and has spanned continents. Here are some of the games popular among machinima artists today.

Total War

If you watched the Battle of Winterfell in the final season of Game of Thrones, you may have noticed that the screenwriters lacked some knowledge about war strategy. Some “professional armchair generals” decided to fix it by playing out the battle again -- this time in the game Total War.

Finally, someone who knows how strategy works. (Picture: Jackie Fish/YouTube)

Some took things even further by showing how the Battle of Winterfell would look in Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings.

Someone used Total War to bring Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones together in one epic fantasy battle. (Picture: Jackie Fish/YouTube)

Total War is a great game for history buffs and a good way to show off epic movie battles. Chinese users have noticed this, as well.

One gamer in China turned Total War into an entire documentary series showing off how Chinese dynasties fought battles and armed their men throughout history.

Ever wanted to relive the Ming dynasty? Well, now you can. (Picture: 各行有各业/Bilibili)


In this hit sandbox game, blocks aren’t just used to build things like buildings and trees. They’re also used to make movies.

Minecraft has spawned many pixelated hits. There are Minecraft renditions of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. You can even watch the Titanic sink, and this time the raft definitely has enough blocks to hold Leonardo DiCaprio!

What are the odds this ship would get sunk by a bunch of ice blocks, too? (Picture: TheNexusWarrior/YouTube)

Chinese gamers have also gotten in on the Minecraft movie-making action. Blocky remakes of Wandering Earth, China's biggest sci-fi blockbuster, have been especially popular.

Wandering Earth was a huge hit in China. (Picture: 龙艺LoonG/Bilibili)

Minecraft has also been used to produce completely original movies. Life of a Hunter is a short movie about trying to survive the winter while Life of a Minecraftean explores a life of loneliness… in Minecraft.

I never thought I would be wondering about moral questions of shooting a wolf in Minecraft, but here we are. (Picture: Cubey/YouTube)

Those that can't be bothered with actual plots can also just explore movie settings. Chinese gamer Azztter used 370 million blocks over the course of a year building this massive cyberpunk city reminiscent of the 1980s cult classic Blade Runner.

Grand Theft Auto

Why just cruise through Los Santos when you could be making movies? GTA's hyper-realistic visuals makes it a great medium to make movies, as shown by films like Overheat and Outbreak.

The movie Alien Attack! involves aliens riding a motorcycle through the California sky. What’s not to like? (Picture: TheGamingLemon/YouTube)

The wide array of modifications available for GTA make the game even more fun. You can play as James Bond or as Iron Man. There's already an entire sit-com made with an Alien mod. And of course, a GTA version of Wandering Earth.

Oh, that's just Iron Man shooting at the police. Why hasn’t Marvel made this movie? (Picture: A7medom/YouTube)

But when real Hollywood directors get involved, that's when the magic happens. Director Matt MacDonald made a GTA version of Taxi Driver called Not Normal. It's dark. It's gritty. It's perfect for GTA.

“People think this world is like a video game with no consequences,” says the protagonist of Not Normal. (Picture: Matt MacDonald/Vimeo)