Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Dungeon Masters

The Dungeon Masters -

Every now and again I like to indulge my inner (though mostly outer) nerd and watch something incredibly nerdy. I've done this twice recently and the first nerd night involved having my lady over. Which granted was the least nerderific quality of the evening, but hey all nerds when they have a girl like to flaunt it right? We played some Magic: The Gathering (jealous?) and settled down to a documentary, the nerdiest film genre, about D&D game masters. Sadly Magic: The Gathering was the more fun item on the agenda.

The Dungeon Masters tells the depressingly true story of three Dungeon masters, hitherto fore to be referred to as DMs. Each DM was more pathetic than the last, each with their own tale of woe and longing for social acceptance. The film really does little for nerd culture. It just makes D&D players out to be the sad loners that the stereotype has always suggested. I thought we had gotten past this? Sadly no.

And this wasn't in the movie, why?
Stereotypes sometimes exist for a reason and though it is true that there is a certain amount of geek chic going around these days you have to remember that it wasn't all that long ago that it would be considered uncool to be a D&D player. To be a DM it takes a special kind of personality. You want to be entertaining and skillful in storytelling, and not be afraid to kill off an entire party if they do the wrong thing. And to have control over every situation within the game. If these three had any of these qualities it was barely touched upon.

LARPers, yup...they went there
Frankly the film would have been significantly better if it were a celebration of the game and not just a travelogue of the three incredibly depressing DMs they chose to follow. Only one of them was interesting enough to really have deserved being in the film and he spent the entire time moping around because he can't get a book deal for his shitty writing. Seriously dude, STFU and go run a campaign! The girl they decide to follow was so morose that she had me contemplating re-rolling my proverbial character sheet on a few occasions. The guy who seemed like he may have been the best DM of the lot, though you'd never know because they barely shot any footage of them playing games, looked like such a child molester it was disturbing. His reunion with his estranged “son” didn't help the matter either. He wouldn't look right at him, yet the guy had a big creepy smile on his face the whole time. Awkward much?

A face you can't trust your kids with

There are better games worth playing out there, dig a little deeper and you'll find one.

2 out of 5

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