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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The Dungeon Masters - This is how they roll

Yes, I admit it. Back in the day I rolled with the AD&D crowd. Journied to far off Universes with Traveller and Star Wars, fought the Greys and Saurians in Conspiracy X and fought the good fight in Twilight 2000. I even wrote a letter to a National Newspaper when they had an article where an local council had banned an RPG Group as they felt it promoted violence. Needless to say my letter basically told them to stop being so stupid, grow a pair, man up and that they were idiots. The Newspaper posted it as their letter of the week. I won a small victory. No one noticed.

Not played any in years though which is a shame, but I'm not ashamed of the fact that I did. Judge me or join me.

This little aside into my past is all to explain the fact that I really want to see Keven McAlester’s documentary about Dungeons & Dragons gamemasters. There is a review for it over on Spoutblog and here are some snippets from that:
Although Dungeons & Dragons came out in 1974, the game is still played across the world, and has directly contributed to the creation and success of online sword and sorcery games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest. Almost everyone you as about the game knows that there’s a certain nerdy/geeky vibe associated with it, although most people probably couldn’t tell you anything
else about it. The Dungeons Masters attempts to show you the personalities
behind the dice-rolling by taking intimate looks inside the lives of three
different dungeon masters who, in effect, become the game themselves.

The three subjects of the film are Richard, Scott, and Elizabeth and at
face value, they all seem to be cut from the stereotypical images of D&D
players. Richard and Scott seem like clones of the Comic Book Guy on The
Simpsons, while Elizabeth is bit closer to Thora Birch in Ghost World with a few
extra doses of geek thrown into the mix. Although they are spread out in
California, Lousiana and Florida, they share similar experiences.

The film could have easily taken these characters and just made fun of them, but
once you get past the geek factor, it remains a portrait of three very different
individuals, and you get an intimate look into their lives. The gaming almost
becomes peripheral as you find out who these people are and what drives they are
like at home, at work, and in their own worlds. The cinematography by Lee Daniel
is, as expected, extremely beautiful. Blonde Redhead provides a musical score
that is at times sad and melancholy, and other times is grand and cinematic,
which is often juxtaposed by what you see on screen.

The Dungeon Masters is a well-crafted film that peeks behind the curtain of role-playing games and gives you an unflinching look at three people who have made gaming one of their creative outlets.

Leave a comment on this post below.



PurpleSteve said...

Oh this sounds good. I'm a D&D dabbler myself and a lover of geeky documentaries so this one is most definitely on my one to watch list. Is it out on DVD yet or what?

Live for films said...

I've not spotted it anywhere on DVD and I can't find a release date for it.

Does anyone else know?