Much press has been given to Second Life, the virtual world/social network "game" in which participants can live out their fantasies in a polygonal wonderland, free of the restrictions that come with real life. Imagine a perfectly visualized chat room, only with its own user-created socio-economic structure. Companies have found clever ways to monetize the free experience, while over 15 million users work virtual jobs, buy virtual items, have virtual sex, and dance the night away in virtual nightclubs.
Life 2.0, a new documentary by Jason Spingarn-Koff, finds a human story within the world of Second Life, by focusing his attention on the experiences of four of its users. One is a young woman working from her basement, making a six-figure salary designing clothing and houses for sale in Second Life. A male Second Life addict tries to make sense out of his relationship with his created avatar, an eleven-year old girl that he feels controls him through the game, not vice versa. In another thread, a couple tries to bring their Second Life romance into the real world, despite being committed to other partners.
By putting a human face on the participants, Spingarn-Koff is able to help us understand the society of Second Life, while creating an incredibly compelling human drama. I don't have an addictive personality, so it's hard for me to relate to the desire to spend countless hours living out a fantasy in a "fake" world. Spingarn-Koff makes it real to me, by making the people real to me.
Read the rest over at SciFi Squad