Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What I Think Of: Second Skin (2008)

I'm a hardcore geek at heart, if there's something geeky that you can think of (Magic the Gathering, Astronomy, writing workshops, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek conventions, comic book and anime conventions) I've probably done it and loved every minute of it. God, looking back at just that sample list makes me depressed. But there's one thing I've never done and that's play MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). Frankly due to my obsessive personality, I'm scared. I fear that if I started playing games like World of Warcraft or Everquest, I would get lost in their worlds and live and wear a well, Second Skin.

What is the world of MMORPG gaming? Here's a video spoof created by one of my favorite webseries called, The Guild, a series about people who play World of Warcraft. It's a show created by Felicia Day, who sings in the video. You may recognize her from a bunch of tv shows, but I know her best from one of my favorite Joss Whedon creations, Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. Sure this video spoof is geeky (it may not make much sense for those unfamiliar with online gaming) but it's still quite funny and will introduce to the world of MMORPG's.

Okay so yeah, MMORPG's is just another way for people to feel connected, real or not. But what is this Second Skin movie? This is a fascinating 2008 documentary that follows seven people addicted to MMORPG's, and chronicles their lives as they fall in love, get fired from jobs, start families, battle addiction, become obese and sadly in one women's sons case, commit suicide. It's a fascinating look into a little known world that unless you live in it you have no idea how it feels or what's it about, a world that over 50 million people inhabit for 40+ hours a week, living second lives, while the crushing weight of reality closes in. I don't get it and it scares the crap out of me. Still, this not an anti-MMORPG movie, but rather a celebration of comradery and friendship. Sure the documentary is bias and I wish they showed you more how these MMORPG's are destroying the people's lives, but hey, that's the stereotype and it would have been all to easy for the filmmakers to fall back on such simple tropes.

So yeah check out Second Skin, if only to see a world that you can't believe exists. Check it out free on Hulu (it was rated the number 1 movie on Hulu when it was first released) or rent the dvd when it comes out August 25th.

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