>I first became aware of this documentary during the 3rd virtual conference on counseling organised by Counselor Education in Second Life. Immediatly I was enthusiastic and noted down the air date of the documentary. It aired on ZDF [german tv] on monday the 17th of october. The reason that I am blogging a day early this week is that you can still watch it online for free until sunday evening. This is the link. If this subject interests you at all, I would urge you to do so. It’s nearly 90 minutes long and don’t be put off by the fact that it is German. Most of the documentary is in English, so you will be able to follow most of what is going on.
Now what is it all about? Filmmaker Daniel Moshel followed some people from all over the world who spend parts of their lives in virtual worlds and made a documentary about them. Last year I watched a documentary that highlighted the negative aspects of such a lifestyle and it was refreshing to see that login2life stresses the postives.

The focus is on two virtual worlds. One a gaming environment, World of Warcraft [WoW] and  Second Life [SL]. For those who don’t know. SL allows you to make an avatar and then explore the many many worlds with that avatar. So it really comes close to a ‘second life’ especially with how fast technology is growing.

The documentary follows a few people active on WoW and doing more than just gaming. There is someone who makes movies involving Wow characters. Another swedish gamer talks about being in one of the best guilds in the game and what that means in his life. 2 stories moved me the most. A young chinese man who was up in the middle of the night collecting gold which he sold to other people and who actually made a living in the real world this way. He was just scraping by and his whole bio rythm was disturbed because he was online most nights. The other was a young man from the US who had been paralyzed in a car accident and could only work the computer with his mouth. It made me smile that he would tell those he defeated that they were defeated by a criple and the joy it gave him to be able to do this with his avatar. He was able to live out dreams that he would never be able again in the ‘real’ world.

The other part focussed on SL. Here the mother of the paralyzed young man would read parts of the story she had written about her life as a caregiver. There was a German musician giving great concerts to an audience all over the world. A man selling sex aides on SL, it was very funny to see how they had to make the movements so it could be translated digitally. 🙂 The most moving part of the whole documentary for me was the story of Alice, gentle heron in SL. She is a woman from the US with MS. This makes life in the ‘real’ world harder and harder and movement gets harder with this disease. But she lives another life online, making friends and doing much more than that! She has actually set up a community in SL where people with disability can meet and learn how to enjoy themselves in SL. If you are interested to learn more follow this link.

This shows that even if you cannot move much or are bedridden, there is a world out there on the computer where you can make new friends and even live out some of your dreams if you are open to it!

So if you have time before monday, please go and have a look at this extraordinary documentary.

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