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Second Skin: The MMO Documentary

I’ve not had the chance to watch all of this yet, because the idea of observing moving images whilst listening to dialogue seems like a frightening impossibility to me. What will they think of next? If you, however, are convinced you can embrace this ‘video’ medium, perhaps you should watch Second Skin – a 90 minute documentary about how and why people spend so much time in online worlds, and some potential repurcussions of it. Online relationships, for instance – one guy reveals that, upon finally meeting his Everquestian beau in real life, she threatened him with a knife. To counter that kind of thing, there’s the raw, racuous of joy of one couple’s wedding conducted both in the real world (“henceforth you will no longer be two, but one”) and in-game (“from this time forward, you will share the name “Soulslayerrrrrrrr”).

From what I have seen so far, they’re concentrating on World of Warcraft and Everquest II, rather than making the all-too-regular mistake of innacurately pushing cocking Second Life front and centre just because it’s got unconvincing genitalia in it.

Some canny editing (the staring, heavy breathing avatars during the discussion of online relationships, for instance), stereotypes both endorsed and busted, and a general aura of sympathy-meets-tragedy make it an interesting watch so far, even if it doesn’t seem to explore that deeply. Haven’t got to the addiction element of it yet, which I’m sure will contain the most contentious elements. Anyone watched the whole thing yet and care to comment?

The thinger below will take you to the full movie, but it’s only watchable for free until the end of tomorrow.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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