For all ye Gamers out there (and those curious about your hobby), I offer up the documentary “Second Skin”:
Yes, the audio is slightly out of sync. Darn. But this viewing is free. FYI, it’s also available for instant viewing on Netflix. To learn more about the documentary, check out their official website.
I’m not a gamer, unless playing on Pogo counts. Ha That’s a strange world that doesn’t make much sense to me. “Second Skin,” viewed a couple times since 2010, provides illumination into a popular sub-culture I otherwise have little exposure to. It prompts us to ponder how we’re using new technology and also how gaming is succeeding at occupying the attention of an increasing portion of the population, males and females alike. Gaming is one way to experience a virtual reality, the internet having opened up a whole new playground, but what stands out to me is what seems like fear of vulnerability in face-to-face relations. There’s a strong society-wide drive toward escapism these days, this being one way it manifests itself. But this film tells a variety of people’s stories, including those where virtual reality provides a sense of belonging to a community to people who otherwise don’t experience such.
It’s a complex topic, a brand-new concern. Welcome to the 21st century. Amazing not only how this trend has gone global but also how Chinese workers still manage to wind up exploited by American gaming culture (go figure — When are Chinese workers not exploited? Further evidence of how the value placed on individuals goes down as the population increases, but that’s a separate topic for another night). How might we reverse this trend of focusing more attention on virtual reality than on actual physical and social reality? Because fantasies can’t provide sustenance.
Gaming isn’t my poison of choice, but I’m no stranger to spending extraordinary amounts of time sitting in front of the computer. So many excuses to procrastinate on the internet, not the least of which is unprecedented access to a plethora of information on innumerable topics. Not enough hours in a day to deal with modern times.