Life 2.0 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life 2.0 Reviews

Page 1 of 2
April 11, 2014
a beautiful, intense documentary about how people free themselves, trap themselves, and create new selves online
November 17, 2013
Very well made but also very narrowly focused on bad outcomes, rather than the broader uses and range of stories to be found among the users of Second Life. Basically, the documentary ignores the fun or the therapy to be found there.
September 19, 2013
As an avid Second Life player, I was thrilled to see that a documentary was being released into the spotlight about this amazingly addicting life simulator. I thought it would show people just how great the game is, and how in depth the exploration and money market is... boy was I wrong. This film shows the other side of Second Life, the side that will consume your life in the worst possible way. That isn't to say that this film is bad in any way... It's actually quite amazing, it just isn't what I was expecting. If you've never seen anything of Second Life, this isn't the place to start. It will definitely give you a poor impression of what to me is one of the best games of all time.
½ September 15, 2013
This is an interesting documentary about how people lose (find) themselves in virtual reality. I think it is interesting how people explain why they find the game so freeing and how the cost is more than just money, it is physical and emotional costly to jobs and personal relationships in real life.
September 10, 2013
Personally, I found this to be a rather boring flick. It had me going for the first half, but I was expecting some sort of plot twist that never happened. It was like a long, slow build with no real climax. Honestly, it became hard to watch.
April 22, 2012
Heavy handed and one-sided at times. Still, an interesting film. Also has some unintentional humor and can be surprisingly touching.
April 18, 2010
Many people dream about another life; one where they are more beautiful and popular and where there are unlimited opportunities to go on adventures and prosper financially. This is a dream to many, but for some it is made a reality through the video game Second Life. At least it is a reality to them, something that is as sad as it is fascinating. Second Life explores this second dimension through the lives of four people in beautiful style. Using footage from the real world and footage from second life, the filmmaker crafts a thoroughly entertaining yet very interesting concept of people's dreams being lived out in a fashion not quite real.

Life 2.0 was the best documentary I saw at The Sundance FIlm Festival 2010. This film evoked a wide spectrum of emotional responses from me. It was at times disturbing, weird, hilarious, unusual, sad, and beautiful, many times evoking two or more of these emotions at once-and it was always interesting. A film like this deserves to be recognized. It is unlike anything I've ever seen, and it opened me up to this crazy world of second lifers. There were three aspects in particular that stuck with me after walking out of the theater: The idea that I could not fully understand these people's addictions therefore making their desire to play Second Life weird and alien to me, the beauty and whimsy with which the filmmaker portrays the second life world, and the tragedy of the characters' wasted lives.

The idea that I could not fully comprehend these people's addictions was not a new concept to me-I felt the same emotion when thinking about white racists when watching "Freedom Riders". I wondered what it was like to be an addicted member of Second Life. What would my motivations be for joining? Was my real life too harsh for me to deal with? Did the lines between my real and fake life blur after a while of playing? Where there purely business motivations for playing this game (People do make money off of the game)? All these questions do pertain to the characters in the film. Two characters escape from the responsibility of their marriages to have an adulterous "emotional" affair on Second Life that eventually evolves into a real world sexual affair. Another man plays to escape his bad childhood, consequently creating an alternate personality that becomes too real over the course of time. One lady makes it her job and profits greatly off of it, but a keen observer would conclude that her real life is not as good as it could be too. I can theorize about these things, but I will never know simply because I do not wish to find out. The only way to do that is play, and I have heard too much about addictions and know that they have a way of springing upon a person.

The filmmaking in this film is actually somewhat revolutionary. The filmmaker used some new technology to film inside the game, and the results are amazing. He can practically film anywhere within the game world that he wants. He even makes his own avatar so we can see him filming his character's avatars. It's trippy and hypnotic. The game footage is as real as the real world footage because I felt like the game footage was a representation of a person's dreams, a utopian world that is so close but yet so far away to its residents. It aches with longing and false hope. One of the aspects of this film that give this world an ethereal feeling is the score and soundtrack. It is intense and surreal, illustrating the beauty but underlying doom of the virtual world. When the camera was flying through the air above the various islands below, I felt exhilarated.

The whole film is steeped in tragedy. When the characters disengaged from the game and tried to face the real world, I felt their pain. Sometimes they don't feel the tragedy that consumes them because they are so blissfully enraptured in the Second Life world that their concepts of real and fake become one. They are truly "comfortably numb". To me the most spiritual and beautiful moment in the film is when the film's biggest Second Life addict decides to terminate his character and withdraw from the virtual world. He knows it's the right thing to do, but the thought also pains him. He feels like he's killing a living thing. He spends a twelve-hour stint on the computer leading up to his character's "death", using the time to talk with friends and party with other residents of Second Life. The scene is crafted in epic fashion, full of hope and sadness-sadness because I couldn't help but empathize with his despair. He finally deletes his character and walks out of his room and away from his computer and goes to see his fiancée, a hopeful re-entry to the real world. She soon dumps him and a month later he's back on the computer in Second Life, and he's never coming off.

I loved this film. It was able to dissect an area of the human psyche that many films have a hard time doing. It was able to find the perfect examples within the perfect context. It shows the longing of people to be loved and have no despair, a universal want of all mankind. This film shows the perversion of this dream by illustrating the false hope given to some people by the game. It puts those people on a base level of striving for something more, something they can't touch if they're using the wrong tools. I appreciated that message immensely.

Look for this film, as I am strongly hoping that it will get a wide release sometime in the near future.
July 27, 2014
Life 2.0 doesn't explore all the territory of its subject matter, but nevertheless brings up many good points about the dangers of cybernetic worlds.
June 11, 2014
Sad people living sad lives in a sad documentary.
½ May 23, 2014
Weird and not really relevant to those of us who do not live in "virtual" worlds.
½ May 21, 2014
A fascinating look at some really messed up people with problems dealing with the real world.
May 15, 2014
Creepy as shit. It tries to demoralize gaming which is kind of stupid but a very well done documentary.
April 11, 2014
a beautiful, intense documentary about how people free themselves, trap themselves, and create new selves online
April 8, 2014
It's quite good, it focuses more on the people within and outside the virtual world rather than the virtual world itself. The way this doc is presesnted leaves you to make up your own mind about the whole thing. I don't know what went on between the two that had a relationship over Second Life, the end was quite creepy sounding and very sad. I admit that this has made me curious about Second Life, but i'm not sure i'd invest my whole self into it. Some things definitely seem quite off about the doc, i'm not sure how to explain them though, i think there was some bad vibes along the way. I'm really not sure why they'd film the breakdown of these people at points but anyway...pretty okay.
January 7, 2014
Interesting view on a few people that consume themselves with living in the virtual world.
December 30, 2013
A fairly run-of-the-mill and predictable portrayal of gamers who lose at the hands of selling their social souls to an online game. Interesting characters rendered flat by predictable outcomes, aside from the six figure earning Mom who fabricates nude skins.
December 3, 2013
An interesting movie. I've never played Second Life and would have liked to see more about how it works.
November 17, 2013
Very well made but also very narrowly focused on bad outcomes, rather than the broader uses and range of stories to be found among the users of Second Life. Basically, the documentary ignores the fun or the therapy to be found there.
November 11, 2013
More stories of crazy people getting wrapped up in virtual worlds, this time it is Second Life which I downloaded once and deleted after being bored to tears.

Somewhat sad and interesting at the same time.
½ September 21, 2013
one of the best documentaries I have seen.. the fact that this game second life takes over peoples real lives, and they show the inside of the virtual world... its epic. .all i can say is epic.. check it out!
Page 1 of 2