Jun 1, 2012

Wiwille's movie reviews part 90

Since the movie I'm about to review is mainly about role playing games (RPG), namely the biggest in the field, Dungeons & Dragons, in the interest of full disclosure let me tell you about my one and only experience with D&D.

I was in high school and had a science class with a Game Master, someone who leads the game mechanics and play. He had some D&D books out and I asked about them. After some small talk about the game he invited me to his house to play that weekend.

I attended and actually found myself enjoying the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. My only prior knowledge of the game was largely due to my church, which warned parents that their children would become homosexual Satan worshippers if they involved themselves in the role play. I was also a huge fan of the short lived cartoon, but I hated the fact that they made the character Eric a candy ass. Still I caught on quickly and enjoyed the math behind the game and the creativity of the character building. It was really fun.

After we were done playing the Game Master asked if he could borrow my science book as he lost his and we had a test the next week. I offered it to him, as it was in my backpack, and made him promise to return it by Monday.

Monday rolls around and I see him in class. I ask him for the book, to which he said he didn't have and wouldn't be returning soon as he's not done with it. I told him I could care less if he was done with it or not that he was to return it the next day. He didn't like the fact that I was giving him orders.

GM: I'll give it to you when I'm done.
Me: You'll give it to me when I say you will.
GM: Fuck you.
Me: No no no no no. It is you who will be fucked if you don't return it tomorrow.
GM: You threatening me?
Me: I'm promising you.

He stood up and knocked over his desk. I did the same. The teacher ran out of the room to get help.
Quiz time folks. If you're me in this situation do you a) try and calm him down and reason with him, b) try to resolve the situation peacefully by offering to study together, or c) kick the ever loving crap out of the jackass? If you answered a or b you certainly are a better person than I.

We stared each other down for a few seconds and he gave me a threat I'll never forget as long as I live.

Me: ......what? A level five....what?

He shoved me. The rest of the incident happened as you'd expect.
My coach ran into the place and pulled me off of him. I don't remember saying this, but it was told to me later that I yelled something about how his level five hex is pussy shit. He was taken to the nurses office for various wounds to the face. I was put in in-school suspension for a week.

I was never invited to play D&D again.

I relayed this incident to someone and their response was "that is exactly what I would expect to happen to you. This is so you." Yeah, it's true, for some reason my good intentions at social interaction do go awry, and this case was no different. Still I feel like I've missed the party, as many of my friends over the years have enjoyed D&D, granted to the demise of their wallets, but still role playing games may be a lot of things, but dull they never seemed.

Today I watched The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and am not sure exactly what the hell happened on the screen. Let me try to describe it for you. A group of RPGers get together with their game master to play D&D in a medieval setting. (Is "RPGers" even a word? Oh hell it is now.) One of the guys, who looks like a poor man's Vanilla Ice, invites his ex-girlfriend to play, who's new to gaming, and they start off on an adventurous quest to get some mask that has evil powers and destroy it. The gamers choose their characters and a bunch of geek humor ensues.

The movie cuts back and forth between the gamers bickering in a room about the rules to their fantasy avatars doing what they tell them to do. The movie is impressive if only for the fact that it makes the most out of what it can on such a slim budget. The acting is not that painful, the special effects are about what you'd expect, and the writing is not horrific. Still, I feel like I've missed the party with this movie as for the most part I didn't get any of the humor. What transpired on the screen could've been hilarious, but I would have no idea. There's not much of a story here, so its greatest strength, or weakness, is the attempt at comedy, which again may or may not be funny. Granted there was one occasion where I laughed, when a girl walked into a gaming store and all the RPGers freaked the hell out when estrogen was in their presence. Ok it had a few more moments of genuine laughter, but it was few and far between, for me at least.

It's hard to recommend this film given my complete lack of knowledge in this arena, but RPGers may enjoy it, or anyone who appreciates geek humor might as well. I'll give the film this, it's ambitious as well as it is kind to the subjects. It doesn't fall prey to harsh stereotypes of nerds, which is refreshing. Setting aside some of the moments that'll make you shake your head, you may appreciate the fact that films like this exist, and maybe this is the portrayal dorks have been asking for.

Thanks to Karin for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on One Bad Apple. Rules are posted here.

"A low budget film that makes fun of gamers but in a fun way that had me laughing at times, cringing at others." - John Manard


Anonymous said...

LOL You have to understand, Erik, I once shared a house with two veteran gamers and they had a weekly vampire universe themed game going at my place for months. So I got to watch this behavior of the gamers' conversation floating back and forth between reality and their characters until I had a hard time telling what they were talking about. Laughed my ass off.

Miss Ash said...

This post made me laugh soooo hard, I wish I had been in that classroom! Hilarious!