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Digital Sketches

digital citizen media, ict with a focus on Central Asia and the Middle East.

It is extremely weird to experience Second Life as an almost real-life experience. The issues, problems and questions of the main character in the film are very credible, but the world around him is virtual.  While watching this film, it all became more and more estranging.

That is what happened last Saturday, while we watched ‘Molotov’s Dispatches in Search of the Creator: A Second Life Odyssey’. The film is the first documentary shot entirely in Second Life. It is a compilation of ten video diaries made by Molotov Alva. In the story Alva disappears from the face of the earth in January of this year, only to re-appear in Second Life. The film follows his struggle to find his own identity and his search for a home, friends and a goal in his life in the Second Life world.

In the last 20 minutes Alva starts searching for the Creator of Second Life. This search ends at the oracle: a wise monkey. This part of the story is a bit too far-fetched because we all know the creator is Linden Lab. Some of the characters we met before were quite intriguing, almost screaming for more elaboration. I wished we got to know them better. A big question raised by many appearances – things and persons – in Second Life is: why do so many situations in Second life look the same as in-real-life?

The movie was screened at the Amsterdam Stadschouwburg, as the opening of SubmarineChannel’s cross-media mini-festival ‘ Short Ride in a Fast Machine 2007′. Dutch producer Submarine has sold the television rights for the North American territories to American broadcaster HBO for a substantial sum of money. The American channel will submit the film for an Oscar in the Animated Short Subject category.

An interview with the American director Douglas Gayeton in Vrij Nederland (Dutch)


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