Anyway, Second Skin didn’t surprise me in that sense but it did throw me for a loop when it covered the Gold Farmer market in China! I had no idea that this kind of thing was going on. In short, gold farmers are these sweat shops full of young kids that play up to 18 hours a day just earning points and credits in virtual games which get exchanged for money from American gamers that don’t want to spent that much time to gain those points or objects (such as a bigger sword in World of Warcraft)! It’s truly a sad existence for these Chinese gamers.
There were some nice moments in the movie though such as the love stories of gamers that met their soulmates online. Some of them didn’t last but some did. The funniest part was when a group of male friends had to let one of their buddies go so he could get married and move into a new house.
I think Second Skin is worth a look. It’s certainly an eye-opening for parents whose kids are into playing video games. Sadly, most children are gamers these days thanks to amazing toys like Wii, Playstation, Nintendo, XBox, etc. I know that I am now more concerned than ever because my kids are becoming hooked on virtual games like ClubPenguin, ToonTown and PiratesOnline (All crafted diabolically by Disney!). I will do my best to make sure they don’t spend too much time lost in those synthetic worlds.
The gamers made a good point in the movie. They said we all have our addictions. For them, it’s playing in their virtual worlds but for others it’s gambling, watching football, shopping, drugs, alcohol, and so on. The answer then resides in moderation. Too much of anything can be bad for you, no matter how good it feels.
Second Skin is streaming right now on NetFlix