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Second Skin (2008)

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Studio: Alternative Distribution Alliance/Liberation Ent
Genre: Documentary, Independent, Quirky Characters
Running Time: 94 min.

Second Skin takes an intimate, disturbing look at three sets of computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by online virtual worlds. An emerging genre of computer software called Massively Multiplayer Online games, or MMOs, allows millions of users to interact simultaneously in virtual spaces. Of the 50 million players worldwide, 50 percent consider themselves addicted. From individuals struggling with addiction to couples who have fallen in love without meeting; from disabled players whose lives have been given new purpose to gold farmers, entrepreneurs and widows, Second Skin opens viewers' eyes to a phenomenon that may permanently change the way human beings interact - and with possibly devastating consequences.

Alongside these three strands, Second Skin ventures to China to explore the world of Gold Farming: sweatshops where millions of Chinese workers spend 20-hour days playing MMOs to earn virtual gold that is sold for real money. The movie also addresses virtual worlds through the lens of the disabled, who live out much richer lives through these online spaces, as well as guilds, massive groups of gamers who meet inside the games and are often closer than family.

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