Ideal World : The Virtual Entrepreneur
In 2009 I had been pursuing a personal passion and produced a feature length documentary film about life in Synthetic World's called "Ideal World."I spent a few years working with my friend and colleague Glenn Thomas of Producing Future making the film.
You can check out a clip from the film below:
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The writer and director Glenn Thomas and I have been working together professionally for about two decades. And, Peter Ducharme who is scoring the film has worked with both Glenn and myself for about that long as well. During that time we have seen a great deal of change in the way social media has been constructed and used for both commercial and personal purposes. It really wasn't until the advent of meaningful subscriptions to Massive Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG's), that things got interesting enough for us to try and build a narrative for a film.
Synthetic Worlds -- What is "Real?"
As everyone knows, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism.
But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the dollar and the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs.
With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. So we set out to make a film that investigates this phenomenon and to meet some of the people that have decided to inhabit these synthetic worlds for work, play and a little of both.
The film, begins in May of 2003 when a new land of opportunity is opened. Thousands of people from around the globe rushed in to populate this unknown world. They streamed into regions like Kremer, Yora, and Tehama. Cities and towns with names like Kissling and Tabergrew up overnight.
It was a frontier like no other – and required a journey into a world of self-creation. Men and women exchanged their national currency for Linden dollars, the currency of the new world. They bought land, built homes, and settled down. They opened businesses to sell goods and services. They made friends and went to birthday parties. They flew in this new world, but without any planes. This world, where so many moved to create new lives, does not exist on a map. It exists only on computer servers and screens. It is a virtual world. It is called Second Life®.
Second Life is an online community of characters created and lived by real people. Second Life gives people the ability to create 3D avatars and easily communicate with other characters. Second Life lets characters create their own personalities and behaviors. Second Life gives people the opportunity to recreate themselves in a world where they are unknown.
Second Life lets characters behave in any way they want. Second Life has a non-violent part of the world with a wall keeping the violent part of the world at bay. Second Life has a mature neighborhood where nudity and sexuality is commonplace. Second Life lets characters buy and rent islands. On an island, the owner’s word is law. Second Life has few limitations and even fewer consequences.
In Second Life, every person gets a chance to create their own ideal life, distant from their everyday world. What do men and women do when given the chance to live out their dreams and fantasies?
If you would like more information about Producing Future or the Ideal World movie please feel free to contact me.