Thursday, December 9, 2010

Second Skin

In the "it's a small world" vein...

There's a documentary out there on MMO gaming called Second Skin

As it so happens, one of the producers, the Peter Brauer being interviewed here, is a guy I went to high school with.  Facebook brought us back in touch and revealed this common interest.

One of the things Peter said in the interview actually really resonated with me:

As for personal reactions, we have encountered just about every response.  Gamers have approached us to thank us for portraying them so honestly.  Other gamers have railed against us for showing too much addictive play.  Parents of gamers have thanked me profusely for helping them understand their children.  The diversity of responses to our film is one of the things I am proudest of.

This is kind of what happens any time any serious discussion about gaming shows up: some people shout "just a hobby," others shout, "waste of time," then you start hearing "addiction" and "violence" and "art" and it gets really messy.

But it's consistently amazing to me how deep and how visceral the opinions go.  How does this one choice of hobby end up creating a whole world of people and "other?"  Parents have been complaining about their kids' taste in music and fashion since the invention of recording and of clothes, respectively, but this "I don't live in their world" thing is such a disconnect...

Just more various musing about the nature of "the gamer."


  1. It's completely weird to me, since I am the parent in my household. For me MMO gaming is a simple outgrowth of tabletop gaming, of which the same complaints have been made.

    Many of these complaints, I think, can be understood as "You're different than me!" or "You're not spending enough time with me!"

    Oh and by the way, new post up: if you don't mind the shameless self-promotion.

  2. I'll be interested to see how it plays out in my own future, when we become gamer parents. (At least, we plan to in the not-too-distant future, and I don't expect either of us will give up gaming.) It also intrigues me to see more and more blogs, panels, etc. talking about it. Totally unsurprising, since the very first wave of under-12s to have an NES in their homes are now in their 30s, but it's an evolving concept I think.

    And not only do I not mind the shameless plug, but have a look over in ye sidebar... ;)

  3. Hey, sweet, my blog makes a third party's day by proxy.

    Also, I didn't realize it was on Netflix instant either. *adds to queue*

  4. Ahem. I'm considerably older than 30. Though I am a geek and a gamer. Thanks for the linkage.

  5. Never heard of it but it's on netflix instant! I know what I'm watching on my second PC while I dual box on my main one tonight ;)

  6. I meant that it doesn't surprise me that it's starting to show up more in discussion and at conventions and such, since there's a whole generation of grew-up-video-gaming-at-home parents now. ;)

  7. <--- gamer parent.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, still working on getting the kids into gaming (now I've got my oldest asking to "watch margo boogers" (or something like that, translation "mario brothers") every so often. I think he's figured out the jump button, but the correlation between doing something with his hands and having it affect the screen is still a bit troubling, I think)... but my own gaming still survives.

    I'm starting to see older kids of gamers, and they seem to be doing OK, whatever that means!

  8. Watched it last night. Super depressing. Which I think, was the intent? If not, it comes off as the intent.

    There were brief spots of highlights on the positive aspect of gaming, but the way they were mixed in with what appeared to be the negative actions of the WoW crowd and the weird story of the "gamer rehab" lady... I dunno, the whole thing left me feeling a bit queasy, even beyond the standard "I'm not that bad!" ego-affirming reaction.