SXSW 2008

SXSW 2008

South by Southwest can sometimes be a platform for activists. This isn't unusual with documentary filmmakers or advocates of online freedoms. Even musicians can be outspoken. But game developers who care about baby seals?

SXSW 2008

The South by Southwest festival officially began in 1987, the year after Richard Garriott and Dallas Snell opened the Austin offices of Origin Systems. Garriott would go on to develop Ultima Online, which became the first multiplayer online roleplaying game to be considered truly massive.

And it's the MMORPG which is the subject of Second Skin, a new documentary that premiered at the start of SXSW this week, looking at the lives and relationships of gamers.

SXSW 2008

The venture boys in Silicon Valley listen to Bridges, because he's got the cred: from a management position at Netscape, and from launching both Netflix and ZoneLabs. The four Netscape vets who started Multiverse are all staunch gamers, particularly of MMOs, which Bridges always describes as "the killer app," that will draw everyone into virtual worlds.