Discover The Sensuality Of Virtual Worlds

Illustration for article titled Discover The Sensuality Of Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds are driving people to suicide — and making them fall in love. A new documentary, opening this weekend, follows seven people who are devoted to virtual worlds, and finds them struggling with addiction and discovering romance. Second Skin, which debuts at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, showcases players' devotion to worlds like Second Life, and soon the science fiction wonderment addiction that is Starcraft 2). Click through to view the trailer.


You don't think of virtual worlds like Second LIfe as sensual — after all, there's no sense of touch at all — but watching the lush footage in Second Skin and hearing people talk about their hunger for Worlds of Warcraft may change your mind. Immersive virtual reality might never live up to the hype, but already more and more people are pouring so much of their hearts and minds into virtual worlds that they seem to "feel" their experiences in them.
Director Juan Carlos calls it "An Inconvenient Truth meets Errol Morris," which sounds like he's swinging for the fences. If Carlos was on death row, he'd pick Weird Science as his last movie to watch:

I've always really loved that comedy. I mean John Hughes is great, and he's made a bunch of good movies, but Weird Science to me gets the fan favorite award. The idea behind that movie was so inventive and hilarious. Plus there is just something awesome when aliens come to crash a party in the middle of a teen comedy. So I'd laugh to start, and then get a little Zen.


SXSW Preview: Second Skin [Spout Blog]

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I'd venture a guess that the reason(s) "Second Skin" focuses on WoW rather than SL is that:

(1) as noted above, there is a much larger number of WoW players as opposed to SL residents which would hopefully allow for a bigger audience;

(2) WoW as a MMORPG is more understandable to the non-user than is Second Life, which is essentially an interactive form of social networking; and

(3) It would be MUCH easier to get permission from Blizzard Entertainment to use captured footage of WoW than to have to try and negotiate with each resident from SL who's work is in the background or AV is on the screen. Unlike WoW, in SL all content is user created and the IP rights are retained not by Linden Lab but the object's creator.

Just some thoughts,

niko donburi

-singer/songwriter of SL filk