User Reviews (4)

  • lambiepie-226 August 2011
    6/10
    The Next Big Cyber Thing..
    This is an interesting documentary that could have gone further, but it fell into the trap of featuring the "unique", because the day to day is pretty standard. Standard yields little interest, exciting makes something go from the obscure to mainstream. I bet Second Life wants to go as mainstream as possible and become part of the vernacular like Facebook, etc. And why not? Its had quite the quite giant decade, now its time to let others know it's the "next big cyber thing".

    I heard about this documentary on the radio as a promotion for the Oprah (OWN) channel's documentary feature segment. I happened to catch it via DVR. OWN did something that HBO did (and does) and scored a documentary of something that will be curious to many but of huge interest to the rest of us who know nothing about it. I'll say kudos to OWN for acquiring the documentary property. HBO may now have competition in the bidding wars of TV networks to air documentaries like this. Thank goodness, the rest of us can now see more of how the other half lives.

    That being said, I never knew about Second Life, and I find it is aptly named. Reading what others have wrote about it where they have run into folks who are vampires, vamps, and the like, that is trendy and will come and go just as in anything - first or second life. I find Second Life like The Sims, but anyone can get on Second Life and not "buy" it per ce, but buy into it.

    I gathered that this is what many folks feel that this is what they want their 'second life to be, or what they ARE, without face to face daily interaction with real life judgments - that is unless you WANT to go there. I think many second lifers do not want to go there, they want to become lost in virtual reality and be this new person as their real life is not so three dimensional. Is second life just another virtual escape or another chance for opportunities?

    I feel that just like anything introduced into the masses that this can be a hoot, lots of fun, and an escape; your 'second life'. That is as long as you do not lose grasp of your FIRST life. If you have an addictive personality, this can get the best of you. Also as with everything, many folks will take it over the top (such as the adulterous couple profiled in this documentary), some folks will come out of that cocoon and be the butterfly they always wanted to be, and some folks are just negative a-holes because they can be. If you want to be a negative force to disrupt everyone else's fantasies, like in real life, those folks are at second life too - so there IS no way around them.

    But what gets me that became clear in this documentary, is that the carpetbaggers that always find a way to buy and sell anything everywhere. It doesn't matter what bare land you discover, in comes the advertisers, commercial goods, money makers, and they are making bucks in virtual reality. You cannot escape them. Such as with Facebook (Friendster is something that didn't gel I think because it DIDN'T advance into the world of advertising/PPC, etc.) when opened to the public, the moneymakers latched on and now we have what we have. (In other words, don't kid yourself, if Facebook was just about exchanging stuff to friends and family, it wouldn't last and Zuckerberg and gang wouldn't make a dime, wouldn't be millionaires and the toast of the world. It's about that 'dime' more than anything else.) Secondlife will be/is no exception and in the next year or two, this will go big. Not because of the wanna-be Vamps, fuzzy folks, etc., but because it will make money. It IS making money, as the balance sheet shown on the documentary indicates year after year.

    After watching this documentary I'm now wondering, why am I sitting here writing this? I'm curious and will go on SecondLife to see if it's for me, I mean, isn't that the point? I too am a consumer, and I too want the dream of owning my own business, and being the next Warren Buffett. Because it seems like here is where I can do it, and that may be the real point where my first life and second life will morph into my third life. Documentary or not, this was one big commercial for the site, and one should never lose sight of that.
  • grdred94429 August 2011
    Disappointingly Left Out So Much of Life in the Virtual World
    Having been a longtime resident of the virtual world of Second Life I looked forward to see how a feature length documentary would treat Second Life and those that are a part of it. Too often in the past, the media has taken quick peeks at it and have featured the bad. Unfortunately, Jason Spingarn-Koff followed along with past media treatments and gave us yet another ugly-side-only look at SecondLife with content that could have been fit into a 10-minute Dateline segment.

    The media treatment of Second Life is that it is filled with adulterers, pedophiles and con artists. Sure, there are many of each in Second Life however the average person is someone who enjoys chatting with friends, going to virtual clubs and exploring incredible spaces built by some of the most talented people in the online world. Do we get to see any of that? No. Besides most of the footage being extremely dated (how long was post-production?) way too much time is wasted exploring the fate of the few subjects portrayed and not enough on what is promoted as the premise of the film -- living in the virtual world.

    Mr. Spingarn-Koff squandered a wonderful opportunity to explore the parallels and those things that are unique to each world. The content played into the hands of those who think any encounter online is evil and anyone who talks to you in the virtual world is either a loner or a criminal. Extremely disappointing.
  • poindexter_mellon28 November 2014
    10/10
    A Cartoon Landscape of Hellish Fakery
    If you are someone who suffers from self-loathing then you need to rent this movie pronto and discover the marvelous person you really are, compared to some truly unfortunate members of our society. Imagine spending hours every day living in a cartoon landscape of hellish fakery populated with fantasy people from a bad LSD trip....and liking it! In fact, liking it so much that you remain in your pajamas 24 hrs a day hunkered down in your basement in front of your computer with a giant bag of Cheetos creating virtual luxury items for Cartoon You to model for all the other cartoon people out there.

    Whatever you do, do NOT invite one of your cartoon lovers over to visit you in reality, i.e. Life 1.0! It turns out lover boy maybe isn't so smooth with the moves in real life. Maybe he can't even help you plant a vegetable without belittling you. And other humiliating stuff that I'm forgetting because I saw this movie last year but forgot to review it until just now.

    Really, I enjoyed it. It's compelling. The people are nice mostly but they need an intervention to get reintroduced into normal non-cartoon life. I mean please at least wait until the graphics look somewhat real before giving up your life to join this popsicle stick world.
  • HighJunk Reviews20 April 2012
    4/10
    Documentary that attempts to scare off users in playing a game
    Warning: Spoilers
    The movie follows the lives of three users and the impact on which the game Second Life has on their lives. A very interesting premise but yet they seemed to chose a bunch of adulterers, victim of molestation, and a "business entrepreneur" who lives off the money she makes in Second Life.

    Now I get why they chose those people, they wanna pique the audience's interest. But seriously? They could have at least chosen someone who had a normal life and documented how it affected them, not videotape someone who clearly has a lot of problems. Not all users who play the game are like those three y'know.

    Well, aside from those things, the documentary was pretty intent on trying to ward off future players. It's like they think that this new "Internet thing" is making us addicted. Just because those three people play like 10-18 hours a day doesn't mean everyone does. Sheesh. The documentary acts like any other media does when faced with something technologically new, it tries to find the negative aspects.

    The first user is a married woman who thinks she found true love in the game. She meets with the partner who is (surprise, surprise) from Canada. The two seemed to get along well in the game but in real life things don't go as smoothly. They both get a divorce from their respective spouses, hoping that their true love will conquer all. But as any relationship that started in the internet, it didn't work out and the dude left her. Like she didn't expect that to happen.

    The second one is a woman who passes off her time in Second Life as a career. She actually makes money within the game. Now that's some smart moves. She's happy because she stays at home, plays video games and gets paid. What could be sweeter than that? But her life won't turn out to be perfect when she encounters an obstacle which I'm not going to spoil for you.

    The third one is rather the most interesting of the three. His avatar is a little girl...now, now, before you start asking questions, no he's not a pedophile. He says that the reason his avatar is a girl is because he feels that in every man there's a woman inside and in every woman there's a man. Trouble brews from his personal life; his fiancée is planning on leaving the guy because he plays Second Life all night and barely sleeps (and maybe because they barely have sex?). He tries to reconcile with her and we found out a dark secret of his past.

    So, huh, I just gave the summary for the movie. Not much of a review, eh? No matter, weirdness aside the movie was really stupid since it, like I said before, only showed the negative aspects of the game. How about showing the positive ones? I don't know about you guys but man, my rant is tiring. I'll wrap things up with a single sentence: Oprah, you suck.

    Oh yeah, Rosie O'Donnel's in the movie. Heh.