Second Skin takes an intimate, disturbing look at three sets of computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging genre of computer games called 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 ever meeting, disabled players whose lives have been given new purpose, those struggling with addiction, Chinese gold-farming sweatshop workers, wealthy entrepreneurs and legendary guild leaders--all living within a world that doesn't quite exist. Second Skin focuses on a couple who met in a virtual world, an addict whose life was ruined by MMOs, and a group of MMO gamers who spend most of their lives inside virtual worlds. Written by
Unfortunately, SECOND SKIN does not ever reveal the the reasons behind the nature of this addictive behavior. More of the film should have been devoted to watching exactly how the players use the game, and maybe the viewer would have been able to ascertain how these online environments can manifest such abject compulsion. We see that the characters were psychologically dependent on gaming, but are never shown why this computer software elicits such addictive properties. I will admit that computer games do not appeal to me (I think the last game that I played was 'Donkey Kong'), and therefore this subject has always had me mystified, and this is why I wanted to take a look at SECOND SKIN. The film does a good job showing the characters in their obsessed and enthusiastic Internet environment, but left this viewer wondering 'why'?
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