A documentary is being promoted that will examine the phenomenon of MMORPG’s (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). There are as many horror stories as there are positive stories about MMO’s over their almost ten year history, longer if you count the original text based online games.
The name of the documentary is Second Skin. The official website has a trailer up as of today, and many other links (including merchandise, which is a bit odd for a gaming documentary). I am hopeful that the documentary gives balance to its reporting of this subject. Edward Castronova is seen in the trailer, so that gives me some encouragement that it won’t be all bad. I have a strong suspicion that this documentary will hit close to home with anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in these online games.
Company Line: “Second Skin opens our eyes to a phenomenon that may permanently change the way humans interact.”
I can’t find any mention of how this documentary will be released. I was only able to find that there are no deals in place yet for wide distribution. Will it be a movie at the movie theater? Will it go direct to DVD, or maybe end up on one of the cable channels? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
My only hope is that this documentary shows the positives of this technology along with the negatives. There are extremes and addictions with just about anything in our society. It would be very unfortunate if this film only focused on the dark side of MMORPG’s. The social networking world is still trying to overcome the negative MySpace press that all but locked social networks out of schools across this country a few years back. Only now are a few school districts starting to examine how social networks might actually be used with students in conjunction with their education, in a positive way. Social networks have already taken hold in certain business sectors, and they will likely become more widely used in the not too distant future. All indicators point to virtual worlds exponentially growing in use in both business and education over the next five years, the ‘pure gaming’ MMO’s have already achieved mainstream status (World of Warcraft, etc).
Grab your popcorn and jump here to see the trailer.