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Second Skin

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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(Aug 25, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Second Skin takes an intimate, fascinating look at computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging, hugely popular genre of computer games like World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Everquest, which allow millions of users from around the world to simultaneously interact in virtual spaces. We meet couples who have fallen in love without meeting, disabled players whose lives have been given new purpose, those struggling with addiction, Chinese gold-farming sweatshop workers, wealthy online entrepreneurs and legendary guild leaders- all living in a world that doesn t quite exist.

Review

...the human dramas of individual gamers are what really make this technically polished docu so fascinating. --Joe Leydon, Variety

Probably my second-favorite documentary of SXSW… Second Skin is wildly entertaining, but also manages to be informative and worthy of contemplation of where our society (or a portion of it) is headed. --Steve Propky, Aint-It-Cool News

Another doc generating significant buzz: Second Skin, ... a fascinating film... gets audiences who've never considered spending 18 hours in front of their computer to sympathize with those who do. --Randee Dawn, The Hollywood Reporter

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Keel, Heather Cowan, Andy Belford, Jeff Wilson, Chris Mitchell
  • Directors: Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Liberation Ent
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002AWM0SQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,938 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeremy Kotin on August 6, 2009
Format: DVD
This is an incredible documentary that gets you into the heart of virtual worlds and the real world people that inhabit them. It's a fascinating look at how technology can keep us apart and bring us together and allows us to become the people we dream we can be. As someone that had no prior interest in these virtual worlds, I was amazed how this doc drew me in and kept me fascinated...
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Format: DVD
Saturday night we put the kids to bed. We needed a break from the day, so we decided to look for a "light" documentary and my wife came across "Second Skin." Neither of us is a gamer, but learning about the attraction of gaming to others seemed interesting.

Second Skin focuses on the most-dedicated members of the gaming community. For the gamers in the film, gaming is a way to escape from their ordinary, humdrum lives. The filmmakers imply that the identities that these gamers create can be more important to them than are their "real" identities. Second Skin also suggests that - at some point - it may be "the norm" for people to behave in this manner.

The film covers many stories. One thread concerns four men who live in the same house in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Each man is obsessed with online gaming - Second Skin shows the men lining up before dawn to get the newest release of their favorite video game. Tension arises when two of the men establish serious relationships with women and one of the women becomes pregnant with twins.

Another story is about two gamers who have met online - Kevin Keel from Texas and Heather Cowan from Florida. Both have had failed relationships with gamers before, but each is convinced that the relationship will last. Through this storyline, Second Skin again focuses on the "identity" issue. Specifically, the film asks whether Kevin and Heather - who are a perfect match in the gaming world - live together as a happy couple in the "real" world?

The final major thread follows Dan, a young man from Philadelphia who has lost his business due to his "addiction" to online gaming. The filmmakers follow Dan to treatment. As a result of this segment, the viewer questions whether gaming can - in fact - be an addiction.

Hardcore gamers may not like this film as it focuses on the negative consequences associated with gaming. But I was entertained throughout and I recommend Second Skin.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have seen this before on Netflix but since it is not on there anymore, I bought it and I like it. its really interesting to see other gamers nerding it up and some of these people are a little sad but still interesting
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Format: DVD
Saw this film a few years ago at Austin's SXSW -- it's a fascinating, humanist look into the world of online shared video games. Not too techy and not too geeky, it's for everyone -- whether you play these games or not.
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Format: DVD
It has seemed for quite a while that more and more people are living in a virtual world. In some cases, it's a controlled hobby where people spend some free time in online games. In other cases, however, it can become an obsession. This is a great documentary that shows people who have benefited from online gaming (met their significant others online) and others who have hit rock bottom through an addiction that would rival hardcore narcotics. There are also some interesting statistics that are presented.

I have to say that I have a friend who met her now husband in an online game and she is quite happy with him so it's obviously not a bad thing to go online. There are just those extreme stories where people are so immersed they can no longer control it (people in internet cafes in Korea have died because they play for so long without food or water). Even if you aren't into the online gaming arena, this is still fascinating to watch as who would have ever guessed that there would be something like this 20 years ago?
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Format: DVD
I saw this much-hyped film at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was blown away. It provides an easy-to-follow overview of virtual worlds, which proved both helpful for a novice like me and interesting for the gamers I was with. The film doesn't shy away the spectrum of implications of virtual worlds, from inspirational (people with disabilities developing rich social lives) to scary (folks addicted to "synthetic worlds" neglecting their real life) to unbelievable (footage of a "gold farm" in China where workers play WOW all day). Though Second Skin is timely and thoughtful, it never develops the weighed-down tone of Serious Documentary. The movie is driven by engaging, likable characters, and we find ourselves rooting for them during their tales of love, friendship, disappointment and triumph. Best of all, Second Skin is laced with humor -- the theater in Austin erupted in laughter many times. If you want to know more about virtual worlds or are a fan of well-made documentaries, check this one out.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Now I have caught wind of this movie existence years before it came out and was totally interested in the subject matter because of one thing only the trailer! the trailer for this movie is amazing It defiantly makes the movie seem like gamers exist in a bubble. But the reality is they don't and this movie shows it. The movie don't seem to take sides of weather game addiction is bad or good. I used to play warcraft as much as any addict with holding a job. A hardcore warcraft player would pick this film apart and would not find accuracy at all or just ask why show us this. But for relatives that you would like to show some general MMORPG stuff and a little of what drives a gamer this film is it. The worst part about this movie is its so small, I would say wait till it comes on tv but that may never happen so your only chance to see it maybe buy buying it. So if your like me and is in a need to know what the buzz is about buy it like me! I have no regrets and have showed it to family members.
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