WoW docu has no “balance”? You’re missing the point

12Mar08

CNet has an editorial about the documentary “Second Skin,” about MMORPGs, which apparently portrays gamers as socially malajusted troglodytes. Io9 seconds their view that the doc lacks “balance” in its portrayal of gamers. Why does it always have to be gamer=loser/weirdo? Why not gamer=cool/normal?

Answer: because most documentary feature films are not journalism and aren’t interested in being journalism… they’re stories that happen to be based (key word, that) on real people and events. Their directors’ basic goal (just like a fiction filmmaker’s) is stirring emotion by depicting dramatic conflict. Not reporting facts with balance. A good doc can do both, sure. But that’s gravy. Any movie — fictional or non — is primarily an emotional experience.

Gamer=weirdo is more dramatic than gamer=normal. Certainly not more original, and maybe not more representative of “reality” these days. But definitely easier to tell a dramatic story around. [shrug] That’s it. There’s no more to it than that. This particular story may suck, but that’s a different conversation than the one CNet and Io9 are having. They basically just seem annoyed that an apple isn’t an orange.



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