“My Marvelous Self” is a documentary film about a Second Life residents. I initiated the project and conceived the film together with Susanne JÃ¤ger, who is an experienced documentary film maker. By the time we had managed to find a TV station that was interested (October 2006), I had almost given up and thought that Second Life was not even interesting anymore, because there had been much media coverage. I did not expect that the Hype was just about to take off.
Now the hype is over and mainstream media switched to Second Life bashing instead. That’s the way it goes and of course we anticipated that.
Our film does not deal with SL’s potential in advertisement, we never thought that this was the most interesting part or even an interesting part at all. If anything, the interesting part is that it is not at all easy to use Second Life successfully for advertising. In many ways it is almost absurd to use it for advertising unless you want to reach a very specific group and unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of money per contact.
However, we focused on the emotional and psychological side of Second Life. Even though the way Second Life is experienced does probably not differ so much from other (even text based) role playing games, it can be said that it is more accessible and attracts a much wider variety of players. The ability to design your content and environment also adds a new layer of communication and defines a new field of “knowledge production”. This is certainly one reason why Second Life feels so real for many residents. At the same time it is probably also what makes it less attractive for players who want to be entertained or who want to compete with other players in a more defined environment.
I’m very happy that the film is finished and that it will be aired soon. Unfortunately it is not decided yet, if there will be a version with English subtitles. The rules and norms of public TV stations in Germany can be surprising. It looks like not failing with television ratings is more important for them than marketing a film internationally.