Second Skins and Tiny Lives



BoingBoingTV
presents the above short piece about the movie Second Skin, which premiered at SXSW. The film explores the impact of massively multiplayer online games on the people who play — including one self-identified gaming addict.

The documentary looks like it may be covering some of the same territory explored in Julian Dibbell’s My Tiny Life (which is largely out of print, but available as a free download thanks to the efforts of the author). Although the question of what real means in online environments remains a salient one, as demonstrated by the continuing fascination with online communities that drives works like Second Skin, the division between the “real” and the “virtual” seems increasingly murky as many daily tasks and bits of communication migrate toward the digital.

What utility does the term “virtual” still have with regard to the way people use web media for their daily lives? Does the distinction between the “real world” and the “virtual world” make sense? And, finally, is the distinction something that will diminish over time?

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