One of the more interesting-looking films in the SXSW lineup is Second Skin, directed by Juan Carlos Piñeiro Escoriaza. The film is a documentary about people who are utterly obsessed with the virtual worlds of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs). The film follows several folks who spend all or most of their spare time (and perhaps even their time that's not really spare) immersed in virtual worlds in places like World of Warcraft, Everquest, Second Life and other MMOs. has the trailer up, and from watching it, it seems the filmmakers handle the subject matter without looking down on or making fun of these folks for whom virtual life is as important as real life.

It looks also like they examine both the dark and light sides of gaming. There's Kevin and Heather, who met online as a knight and a cleric slaying dragons on Norrath in Everquest, fell in love and then met in real life; then there's a guy on the trailer who talks about playing obsessively for 14-16 hours a day, to the point that his addiction to gaming was ruining his life and he became suicidal. I wonder if they'll delve at all into people using Second Life as a virtual space for sexual encounters and affairs (which personally, I find beyond creepy, but whatever gets you off, I guess). I'll be the first to admit that I don't get the whole appeal of virtual worlds and virtual identities; I can grok the concept that people get really into their video games, but the idea of not having much of a life outside of a virtual reality game puzzles the hell out of me.