Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
Universal and Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski have acquired the rights to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article about the real life effects of a virtual addiction. Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight has been hired to pen a screenplay based on Alexandra Alter‘s article, which is titled “Is This Man Cheating on His Wife”.
The article is about a Phoenix-based woman who discovers that her husband married his Second Life girlfriend in the virtual world. He claims its just a game and that they have never spoken in real life, but together they own two virtual dogs, pay a mortgage together and “spend hours shopping at the mall and taking long motorcycle rides.”
The real life wife joined an online support group for spouses of obsessive online gamers, and says her husband’s online addiction has become out of control, but she isn’t ready to move out and separate from him. The husband argues that “She watches TV, and I do this. I tried to get her involved so we could play together, but she wasn’t interested.” You can read the entire article on WSJ.com.
The concept is certainly not new. I have seen the idea on the big screen in documentary form a couple times, most recently in Second Skin. I’m actually surprised that no one has decided to adapt the idea for a fictional film. It’s not just about the effects of a video game on a relationship, but also about the effects of a virtual relationship.