Second Skin

I was contacted the other day and asked if I’d link to / embed / plug or whatever this documentary film about MMO gamers. Usually I’m actually rather wary about this kind of stuff — I don’t feel like an opinion-shaper, and I’m pretty sure I’m not one, but I do have a blog and maybe these days that’s qualification enough.

Anyway, RL being what it is I’ve not had the chance to watch this all the way through yet, but what I’ve seen so far (about half) has assured me that the first half at least is an engaging, respectful, interesting and sometimes amusing look at gamers. I’m not entirely sure what it will tell gamers but I’m not certain it’s actually aimed at us as a primary audience. I’m also not entirely sure how well it serves as an introduction to gamer (MMO specifically) culture… but I’m one of them, and it’s often hard to look outside your ghetto and get a real sense of what it’s like looking in.

Here’s a quick quote from the director when interviewed by Hulu:

Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza, Director: Second Skin is a documentary on virtual worlds. Basically, it’s an intimate look at their lives and how they live both in the virtual space and in the real space. It takes on three storylines: one is a story in Fort Wayne, Ind., of four gamers who live together, work together, game together, pretty much do everything together. That’s sort of a coming of age tale where, essentially, one is about to get married, and another is having two babies. So it’s about their lives changing. The second story that is followed is of two lovers who met in Ever Quest, and they said “I love you” without actually seeing each other before in real life. It kind of shows them as they meet each other in real life and what ensues after that. Finally, a third story is of a recovering game addict who is having trouble, whom I met at a place called Safe Haven, an online gamers’ anonymous-type place. It’s a 12-step program trying to help them get better. And from there, it’s his progression as he decides to leave and do something else and figure out a way to cope.

There’s a widget in the right sidebar that will take you to the film. Alternately, you can clicky dis linky.

Disclaimer — if I have somehow transgressed vid-linking/showing netiquette here, my apologies. I have no idea what the netiquette on the subject is, other than accurately acknowledging and reflecting one’s sources (which is standard practice in the Lit world I come from).

7 thoughts on “Second Skin

  1. I got the same email, and just laughed when they claimed I was a “respected voice in the gaming community” or some such. They mustn’t read what I write, so I figured I’d return the favor.

    Beside that, these sort of things never seem to be fair and balanced in their aim. It may not be Michael Moore, but I don’t hold out much hope that they are going to be useful. If they are, though, well, I’m happy being wrong on that count. *shrug*

    1. Exposure itself contributes to making something more mainstream, be it… exposure (physical), drugs, certain ideas, whatever. In fact, exposure is generally what turns something from a ghetto pastime (MMOs) or hip trend (dunno, not hip) into a mainstream thing (and therefore not exposure-worthy).

      I don’t delude myself that my blog gets read by the people who ask for exposure, but that in itself isn’t — to me — grounds for rejecting the request out of hand.

      In any case, I felt the film was worth watching or I wouldn’t have made a post about it. It’s not like I get paid to do any of this or anything — I do actually get to hold on to my principles, and do/write/say what I feel is right, not what I feel will earn me cash/readers/recognition.

      Groundbreaking it probably isn’t though — to us at least. We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about MMOs and that includes the MMO gamer culture. Not sure how much that applies to Johnny McNormal Gamer though (if there is such a thing).

      1. Aye, I didn’t reject their appeal out of hand because they tried to flatter me, I just didn’t see much value in the film itself or in promoting it. I figure anyone reading my stuff already has a fair bead on what I think of the MMO genre, and the film doesn’t run the same course.

        That said, I’m not complaining about anyone else promoting it. I didn’t mean to come across that way. 😉

      2. It didn’t really, I was sort of internal-ranting for… I dunno what reason. Probably because it’s Friday, I have a ton of work to do and I SO do not want to work this week.

        ZOMBIES DON’T DO MATH PROBLEMS! as Calvin (he of Hobbes, not he of Geneva) once said.

  2. Second Skin is also screening on the Big Screen in Select cities.

    Los Angeles August 14th-20th The Downtown Independent
    New York August 7th-9th The Tank Theater
    Boston August 14th-20th The Somerville Theater
    Austin August 16th-17th The Alamo Draft House *(If you fill it up they will extend the run through the week)

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