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Second Skin; Second Life; to be someone with power

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Humans want to be more than what they are; we are driven to be more than what we are.  A lot of players have what they perceive as dead-end jobs.  And they logon to these worlds and suddenly they’re someone with power.

Check out this trailer to “Second Skin”

Here is a brief review posted to

There is a distinct separation between the “real world” and the “digital world”. You can call it a “synthetic reality”, “virtual existence”, “online community” – whatever the name, we have pockets of intentional community that allow us to be different, behave in a way completely removed from how we are in our day-to-day.  Even at Burning Man last week, people were referring to the “Default World” as being the realm outside Black Rock City. From World of Warcraft to The Sims, even on Facebook, we design images that represent ourselves, a digital face that we present to the online world. Second Skin examines the variety of ramifications attendant upon that separation, primarily as seen in World of Warcraft and Everquest II.

At the beginning of the trailer the narrator says that wer are living a a world that is becoming increasingly atomized and we are all becoming isolated.  That may be true of gamers sitting in thier basement,  but it is far from true for people who live in the real world.

Global communication and the tools of social networking have provided an unparallled opportunity for collaboration, creation, and innovation across a global community that trancends place and time.  Everyone is free to choose to exploit this opportunity, or not.

Yes, “Humans want to be more than what they are; we are driven to be more than what we are“.  But the locus of this achievement should not be in a synthetic reality.  People give up too easily in the real world.

How many remarkable people, innovative ideas, great companies, and great products have we lost because some folks gave up too early and entered a fantasy world rather than slog it out here in the real world?

 Malcom Gladwell and others, based on evidence, think that it takes 10,000 hours to master something.  How many gamers have put in 10,000+ hours of gaming in a virtual world?  What would happen if this 10,000 hours of gaming was redirected to mastery of something in the real world that frees them from the “dead-end job”?

Achievement (of lack thereof) could simply be a matter of technique or approach – and not ability, capability, or untapped potential.  If gamers are willing to spend 10,000 hours playing games then it might indicate its not even a problem of motivation and dedication.  Maybe it’s process?

From David Shenk:

…non-achievers seem to be missing something in their process–one or more aspects of style of intensity of [deliberate] practice, or technique, or mindset, or response to failure.

What is deliberate practice?  Deliberate practice:  1. Focus on technique as opposed to outcome (accept the process), 2. Set specific, measurable, quantifiable goals, 3. Get PROMPT feedback from knowledgeable people; APPLY it immediately.

Another contributing factor for  achievement vs non-achievement and what counts as “success” is peer group.  Once gamers get into virtual worlds as an escape from “a dead-end job” (the real world)  then we all know that misery loves company.  There may be little chance of escape from a culture where achievement in a virtual world is taken as an acceptable substitute for achievement in the real world.

“Identity, community, economy, love, redemption, and achievement – all in a world that doesn’t exist.”  Imagine the magnitude of the loss to society and culture.

Written by frrl

June 28, 2010 at 4:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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