Just as I love seeing existing content remixed into something else with noticeable difference from the original and yet still as enjoyable if not more, I'm also a massive fan of Machinima - The art of using video games as a platform for movie-making.
The way this is done can often vary. Some games include the ability to view the action from several "camera angles", where as others restrict the player's view purely to what they'd see in-game; the player's point-of-view. This limitation often results in a player or two acting as "cameramen", recording what they are seeing whilst the other players act out the film itself - be it a music video, a comedy, a drama or a documentary.
For example, the following machinima's the #1 rated video on Machinima.com, one of the most-popular machinima-sharing website on the Internet. Using the video game "Counter-Strike: Source", Xanatos and his group "The Janus Syndicate" have created a comedic spoof commercial simply by using a desktop computer, a game and some video-editing software.
mm3guy: What's your typical pipeline for getting a movie from an idea to something you can post on YouTube?
Xanatos: Usually we'll come up with a vague, overall idea for a project based off of a few splinter ideas. Or sometimes, in the case of the Gman Squad series, that originally started as an inside joke (we ran around in the pointless, not-at-all-played Half-Life Deathmatch Source, claiming to be a clan for it) but eventually we thought it would branch out quite well as an actual joke machinima series. Or many times, we'll take past, unused ideas and adapt them to something else. Like our old Team Fortress 2 western movie - about a year prior to making that, we originally wanted to do that same idea in Counter-Strike, but making it in TF2 was obviously the better choice. Lastly, Counter-Strike for Kids was truly a group collaboration effort in which we all wrote ideas for it and discussed what we thought the final product should be. I think we went through four or five different versions of it (with/without the Crackbone sequence, with/without the George Lopez bit at the end, etc). So we look for a full-fledged idea that we think can make a good final product, and then go out and shoot it. (Interview taken from http://www.garrysmod.com/?dont_buff_my_pylon=1236&Interview_with_Xanatos_and_the_Janus_Syndicate)
The Janus Syndicate aren't the only Machinima creators, of course, and many other genres have been explored in the art. Music videos, for example, have been created using the art of machinima - be it for commercial songs or simply songwriters looking for an alternative method to creating a music video.
I remember at the start of the academic year, we looked at Henry Jenkins and his "Eight Traits of the New Media". One of those traits was how "innovative" new media was, and this cannot be emphasised enough when looking at the concept of machinima.
Today, the introduction of new media technologies sparks social and aesthetic experimentation. Anthropologist Grant McCracken has described the present moment as one of cultural "plenitude," represented by an ever-expanding menu of cultural choices and options. McCracken argues that "plentitude" is emerging because the cultural conditions are ripe for change, because new media technologies have lowered barriers to entry into the cultural marketplace, and because those traditional institutions which held innovation in check have declined in influence (what he calls "the withering of the witherers".) The result has been the diversification of cultural production. Each new technology spawns a range of different uses, inspires a diversity of aesthetic responses, as it gets taken up and deployed by different communities of users. Such transformations broaden the means of self and collective expression. (http://henryjenkins.org/2006/11/eight_traits_of_the_new_media.html)
Instead of requiring a movie set, props, actors, lighting, sound, backstage crew amongst many other essential tools needed to make a normal live-action movie, professional and amateur filmmakers alike are turning to machinima as a cost-effective alternative. If you have access to a video game, you have access to a film set, you have access to props, you have access to characters and costumes - in short, you already have access to all those essential tools you'd need to make a movie.
It's thanks to the evolution of new media that this innovative art even came to existence. Video games weren't originally intended to be used to create films, they were designed to be played. And yet, new media and the people that use it have created new usages for these platforms, and thus, inspired others to use them in ways they hadn't thought possible before.
I loved remixing songs. Watch this space! I'll be working on a Machinima of my own. ;D