Second Skin


I starting watching the documentary “second skin”, and about 20 minutes in I started making comments to my screen. After a bit I decided that instead of watching the whole thing and then writing something up I would just write things down as I watch.   These comments are pretty much unedited and written as I was watching, which means there may be not be much context to my comments; unless you also watch.

Overall I enjoyed it a bit and think it did a decent job of highlighting what I believe to be a very small subset of MMO gamers. I would have really liked to see time spent documenting how MMO gaming has become something that all sorts of people take part in, and how various “normal” people integrate gaming into the lives.  Of course it would be dull to document the mass amount of MMO gamers that are normal people, so instead we are left watching the outliers.

Continue reading if you want to expose yourself to my random comments as I watched.

Streaming Comments As I watch

“Gaming house” They live together, eat together, work together, and game together. If I had been gaming when I was back in college I suspect that sort of set up would have been great. 🙂

“synthetic worlds are a frontier. Why are people moving there?” Hmm well why do people join clubs, teams, bars?

“Everyone starts at the same place. What if real life was like that?” Well real life was like that, waaay back then. The reality is over time online game world characters do not enter all at the same starting place. Some can enter with money, some poor. Some enter with skill, and some don’t.  Stop making the virtual world feel like a utopia of some sort.

Great gamer house guy, tries to describe MMORPGS. Sadly he generalizes vastly, and more sadly so do designers. hhaha.

Seems to simplify the gold farming industry. Well more like “humanize” the industry, show off one ‘good’ company.  Sure, great thanks mister gold farmer let’s throw the race card.

Facinating to watch those four guys race to 70… I did much the same with Wolk though over 3 weeks instead of 5days.   Racing to level seems to do the game a diservice; *shrug*.

EQ2 girl at the “message” was creepy, though I do think their story is the most normal.
Oh my it suddenly turned into a soadp opera, as I watch them have a fight.
The guy, seems to be a bit beaten down by the reality of his decision… hmm.
“you will have to eventually live with it.”

So the online gamers annon lady really told this guy that “no one cares about you back in philly.”
Somehow I seriously doubt she said that, I suspect this guy’s belived she said it but his perception is screwy.
If they don’t go back and talk to her again, I am going to wonder why they painting Online Gamers Anon (OGA) such a light.    Ok they did go back to her, but she does come off being a bit condesending and preachy.
Makes me think something happened to her in the past.  Of course the dude also comes off as a realy jerk.
He seems to blame everyone and everything else beside himself.
OGA lady is a bit overpassionate, but at least she is trying to “help”

Stat quote “2 out of 5 gamers would quit their job if they could make a living in the virtual world”
The placement of that stat in the video gives it a negative spin, but really?
Who would not quit their boring job for a dream job?

Marraiges, and house buying big steps.
Babies, scary birth, reality can be scary.
To succeed in real life you have to “Growing up” somewhat.

The fact that Gamers value Online friends highly, does not surprise me at all.
But then I am an Online gamer 🙂

“1 in 3 have told their online friend a secret they have never tols anyone else.”
I am not sure what to make of that, again it feels like it has a negative spin.
Why must online friends be any different from other friends?

A lady gamer quotes, “Sometimes I feel as if they are real memories.” That’s because they are real memories. Gah more negative spin.

Ok this segment where they are talking about gamer demographics seems to come off a bit positive.
Yes world, anyone can be a “gamer”. Makes me chuckle that we don’t hear about Sports players, or Card players in similar ways that people talk about online gamers.

So the “addict” moved in with his nephew, and I am not really sure what’s happening now. It hard to tell if he stopped playing a lot, or if he is just telling the camera that he stopped playing a lot. But he does seem angry at the game.

Oh boy, and now we have a guy picking on the “role players”. *sigh*

I think we are now getting the story behind the Online Gamer Anon, woman.
Son graduated school, moved out, started gaming. Several months later was evicted (lost a lot of weight)Â and eventually moved back home.
Mom was worried and sent him to a therapist, who apparently did not understand the extent of his gaming and said it was ok. Mom kicked (?) him out and tried to set him up with a support group.

Oh and I am still not sure if the “addict” guy is really over games or just making a show. I think he really does hate the time he spent gaming.

Back to the mom, oga lady; son is involved in online relationship. Mom is worried goes to see him, he wont answer.  So wait she goes back, opens the door a bit smells something apparently thinks the worst so she goes home and gets a screw driver and crowbar to break in.

Whoa. Cell phone => police ASAP. Or bang on someone else’s door to get a phone. Why are you driving home?

She busts in and finds him in a chair shot with EQ on the screen.

I am terrible, my imagination is awful. Since my first thought is she staged it to blame the game.

“its” because of the game? Hmm I am sure his gaming had nothing to do with his real life. I am sure the game is completely at fault. *facepalm*

Sadly “mom” smashing his computer would have only made things worse.

Neat segment with guy in the wheelchair who can’t talk and how MMOs let him feel normal.
followed by more “disabled” people praising MMOs. Hmm why does hearing disabled people talk about MMOs being good seem more ok than nondisabled people saying the same things. That comes off as wrong to me.
Yes the real world can be harsh and mean.

Back to the mom of the twins… Is dad being responsible? Let’s see.
“what’s the difference between watching tv and playing the game?” Good question.

As the more responsible people leave the “gamer house” , it falls more into chaos and clutter.

Twin dad tries to make wow seem so great and non-judgemental. haha, I feel the game can be just as judgemental as the real world, only about other things.

“the couple” go to fanfaire. “you will find true hard core nuts there”, she says. haha way to lift yourself up by belittling others.

I really want to know more about the other couple that get a bit of time for quotes. They seem interesting in the normalacy, and I want to know how normal they are.

Back to addict boy. He focused on dealing with his weight, and ok he really resents his time spent in game.
I need to rewatch I am not sure who the guy is Dan is living with. But he is still gaming and heading down the same path as Dan did years earlier. Gaining weight and questioning what he is doing.

Gamer house guys getting ready for the one guy’s wedding.

Cut to fan faire wedding. haha. Real life and in EQ. oh my!

Back to gamer house wedding. It is a normal wedding. Does he keep playing?

Addict has a job, and health back. I hope OGA lady sees that Dan did get off the addiction

Gamer house guys do make what I think are a few good points, about how people spend their time.

The End

I am a bit sad of the impression the film may leave non-gamers with about gamers.  I see a little of myself in a variety bit from different people in the film, but none of them is very good overall representation of me or my friends that I know play games.   Though like I said I doubt a film about such people would be very interesting at all.

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