Needless to say I was intrigued by the indie movie Second Skin and the people that were portrayed in the film. A benefit of the wonder of the internet is the ability to actually locate people that you would never know how to get a hold of. It works wonderfully to reunite old family members, rekindle old relationships and even get in touch with old school members.
It also works great for journalists, luckily I ran into Dan Bustard on Facebook. When I approached him asking if it was who I thought it was he was very apprehensive, he first asked me if he owed me money. After awhile he opened up and he agreed to an interview. And here it is…
Me: Did you think it was possible to get addicted to a video game?
Dan: Dude, I’ve been gaming hardcore since Atari 2600 back in the early 80’s of course I took a few reality farts during the process, you know go to school, hang out, drink, get stone, work, watch TV, movies, sports, girls, parties, relationships, had my real life fun.. I took some time out of my destiny to play “real life” as others see it, but addicted, no I don’t buy into the whole “addiction life style”
Me: At what point did you feel you had a problem?
Dan: When I stopped getting ^%&%^.
Me: What was your bottom? What did it feel like?
Dan: My bottom had nothing to do with the game it was when I injured my back, it felt terrible and took over 2 years to rehab; luckily I had WoW to keep me company during the times I couldn’t move around much.
Me: What was it like at Liz Woolleys sober house?
Dan: There’s nothing sobering about Liz’s house, she’s a very domineering &^$% that is easily amused by the hardships of others. Christ she couldn’t even by a pack of gum without giving the cashier a hard time.
Me: She called you a “gamer”, and you were upset by this. Was it because you were trying to give it up and didn’t feel it fit anymore?
Dan: Not upset at being called a gamer but the way she went about it. She used me to parade around like I was a mental hand job that she could only heal. I think her thing is all about the attention she gets..
Me: Even though you left not on the best of terms, when you returned home you eventually turned away from gaming. Why?
Dan: I had other things to do, I game hard for 12 hours a day or even more but what isn’t mentioned in SS is that I constantly stated I would only play for about a 1 to 3 months then take a few months off, so I could never be in any hardcore guild because I wasn’t a dedicate gamer… the whole suicide thing wasn’t just because of gaming it was because of my life in general.
Me: you feel that a seed was planted back at ‘Ole Woolleys House?
Dan: Yea a seed of hypocrisy, I really love how she tells everyone that online relationships aren’t real but yet she was an active dater on yahoo personals. So imo she’s in no position to judge other peoples online relationships, at least people in WoW do a ton of playing and communicating before showing up on each others door step.
Me: How did you get caught up in “Second Skin“?
Dan: At Woolley’s house, I was already doing interviews for networks like NBC etc… Talking about gaming, I then hooked up with Liz and she had this brilliant idea of us paring up for the press. Which was why I went to her house, she lied about so much, she would tell the media that she bought the house next to hers for gaming addicts show them the place etc.. the whole time she was renting the rooms out to Penn State kids.. there were no gamers in that house, I wasn’t allowed to stay in there.. She also made me sign a lease. She degrade me in front of people, including a friend she worked with that was my age.
Me: You do realize that at certain points of the movie you are not portrayed at your best. Weren’t you embarrassed? Why did you do it?
Dan: No I like looking like an ass in front of people, I don’t know why I did it, I just did…
Me: Did you think that being part of Second Skin was attributing to your changes at all?
Me: What do you feel about video games now?
Dan: I think they’re great! I think if a person is a gamer then do what you do best and game hard.
Me: Have you read any of the feedback from the “mmo gaming community” about the movie Some of the feedback was negative, why do you think that was?
Dan: I don’t know maybe they didn’t like the movie.
Me: Certain bloggers and podcasters called actors in second skin “nerds”, “geeks” and “sanctimonious freaks”. Why do you think they reacted like that? They play the same games as you, how does that make you feel?
Dan: Because some people can’t get a hard-on unless they are putting someone else down. MMO’s all come down to one thing, “who has the bigger ePenis” nothing else matters, so these same geeks calling other people geeks are doing so because they feel their own ePen shrinking because they missed a chance to be in a movie.
Me: If you were clinically diagnosed with having ‘video game addiction’ and could file a lawsuit against someone, who would it be?
Dan: I don’t believe in addiction so no I would not.
Me: Is your friend/roomate in the movie with you still playing wow as he was?
Me: Why do you think they made “second skin” was it a message?
Dan: Young producers trying to make a name for them and so a ground floor opportunity in making a movie about MMO’s, it’s just business to them.
Me: If you knew that other gamers like yourself that might suffer from ‘video game addiction’ might see this, what would you want to say to them?
Dan: That they aren’t addicted, that perhaps they are right where they ought to be and shouldn’t worry what others think so much.
Me: Would you do it all over again?
Dan: Hell yea, I’m downloading WoW as I type this.
Me: Do you still game at all? How much?
Dan: Not that often, I played PotC a few weeks ago for maybe 4 or 5 hours, it’s an okay game but lacks depth.
Me: If there anything you would like to add that I missed?
Dan: Yea if your world is virtual but keep being disrupted by the real world then you need to make the real world bow down to you so you can keep gaming.. good luck it’s hard enough to balance one reality let alone two. &^$&’em them all and game hard!
There you have it, from the hardest of the ‘Ardcore gamers. The question of if pathological video game overuse (as the medical society calls it) is still a reality or some virtual old wives tale. Coming from Dan’s point of view it doesn’t exist and tells the community to “game hard.”
Thank you Dan for being honest and collaborating on my blog. See you all ingame!