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.