Second Skin, and the lives of Massively Multiplayer Online gamers

Today on Boing Boing tv, we meet the filmmakers behind “Second Skin,” a new documentary that examines computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging genre of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs).

World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Everquest allow millions of users to simultaneously interact in virtual spaces. Second Skin introduces us to couples who have fallen in love without meeting, disabled players who have found new purpose, addicts, Chinese gold-farming sweatshop workers, wealthy online entrepreneurs and legendary guild leaders – all living in a world that doesn’t quite exist.

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.
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11 Responses to Second Skin, and the lives of Massively Multiplayer Online gamers

  1. Moon says:

    Those pictures are going to keep me away from MMOs.

    I don’t want to turn into a “plus” size.

  2. Friedrich Nachos says:

    >> ANY philosopher will tell me that? Because I’m pretty sure Robert Anton Wilson, who was one of the greatest philosophers of the latter 20th century, would beg to differ.

  3. License Farm says:

    Well, Moon, it looks like you took the right lesson away from that.

    Glad to hear about people in my old ‘hood of Astoria making it big. I hope to get to see this.

    A few notes:

    * I initially thought the gent in the glasses was a paraplegic, given his use of a wheelchair, but soon enough he seem him up and about. I realized that a wheelchair probably would be a pretty decent desk chair. I just hope he’s neither misrepresented himself or deprived anyone in need in order to get it.

    * What’s up with the dude impersonating Josh from The Blair Witch Project, standing facing the corner?

    * Smeagol peeking out of the closet is delightful.

  4. dannicus617 says:

    I wouldn’t take Second Skin seriously, being a subject in the film they greatly distorted, exaggerated, reedited and flat out lied about the story I provided them with. I was also promised that my name would be confidential and it was not! Dan Bustard

  5. JDspeeder1 says:

    Did anyone else have the video cut off a few seconds after the commercial?

  6. SamLL says:

    I keep hearing about this movie here on Boing Boing, but I never see a release date or any other information about when or how it will be possible to view, which makes it hard to get too excited about it.

  7. Xodarap says:

    In a world that “doesn’t quite exist”? For shame, it not only certainly DOES exist, but as any philosopher will tell you (yes, much of philosophy IS black-and-white), there is no way for something to “partially” exist. The very nature of existence is, necessarily, dichotomous. I hate to be nitpicky, here, but ontological vagueness is a huge pet peeve! ;)

    (PS, I know that no one else cares…)

  8. bradalmanac says:

    For those in the Boston area, you’re in luck…

    “Second Skin” will be playing as part of the 2008 Independent Film Festival of Boston, which happens in a few weeks. The director will also be at one of the screenings.

    http://www.iffboston.org/

  9. License Farm says:

    @ #4 Xodarap: any philosopher will tell you (yes, much of philosophy IS black-and-white), there is no way for something to “partially” exist. The very nature of existence is, necessarily, dichotomous.

    ANY philosopher will tell me that? Because I’m pretty sure Robert Anton Wilson, who was one of the greatest philosophers of the latter 20th century, would beg to differ. Or do I need to evoke Schr√ɬ∂edinger for the second time in one day? The very existence of a subdiscipline of epistomology is all about the doubt of absolute knowledge. Please don’t embarrass yourself by claiming authority in a field in which you obviously lack it.

    FWIW, I’m not disagreeing with your core statement of giving validation to these worlds’ existence, just the manner in which you’ve chosen to support that thesis.

  10. purewestfilms says:

    Hi guys- I’m the writer/producer of Second Skin. Our blog’s down today (impeccable timing!) so here’s where we’re at- showing at a ton of festivals (Toronto’s Hot Docs and Boston’s IFFB in a few weeks) and colleges in the upcoming months. Just got our first distribution offer a few hours ago- a major one, which means in a few months you’ll all be able to see Second Skin!

  11. Cruftbox says:

    I watched the movie at the SxSW conference.

    I thought it was very well done, looking at the impact of gaming on relationships, addiction, new social structures, freedom for those otherwise handicapped, and the role of gold farming.

    As a long time gamer (played Ultima Online back in ’97) I may be biased, but anyone with a passing interest in gaming will find it worthwhile.

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