Uch - I've been trying the watch The Dungeon Masters because I really don't *get* D&D. Himself and his long term friends are ALL gamers, who have their roots in table-top and I've had other friends who played D&D in their youth (or not so youth). I guess, because my first exposure to any sort of RPG was WoW where everything is really taken care of for you, I get boggled by the concept of, well, having to do all this work yourself. I'm so used to it being given to me in pixel form, I'm thrown by the idea of sitting round a table, with pen, paper and dice and figuring it out.
Leaving aside my inexperience and lack of imagination for a moment, I think D&D still has its uber-geek image. Whether that translates into kudos or horror is probably a personal opinion. I know that when I moved in with Himself and went to move an ottoman out of the way, I nearly wrenched my back - said ottoman was stuffed to the gills with D&D manuals and assorted other RPG stuff. Gods, those manuals are heavy! I remember when he eventually got over his embarrassment enough to show me his briefcase thing which contained his D&D figurines (all lovingly hand painted) and being really quite amazed by the detail in them. All this stuff is hidden away, mind you. I made some comment about making a display case for the figurines and he nearly died at the thought, and put the case away... I'm not even sure I know where it's currently residing.
Now Himself is a proper grown-up (as I've mentioned before) and has a Proper Job. His gamer friends are also well-adjusted; they're in Proper Jobs, with long-term relationships, children, some are even quite easy on the eye *giggles*. I.e. they're pretty much at the opposite end of the scale from the D&D stereotype, living in his parents' basement and existing off Doritos. But they still refer to their gaming in code, "alligator wrestling" being a favourite, and when some of us went out for our pre-wedding dinner, there was some comment made about being "amongst friends" which was clearly code for "can we talk about gaming now?"
These are not the type of people portrayed in The Dungeon Masters. I have to say, at this point, that Love Film (via the tv) decided to have a hissy fit mid-way through, but I've seen just over an hour of it. Would you like to pick a gamer stereotype, because I'm pretty certain that one of the three main characters will fit into it... The substance of the film consists of following three GMs, in both their gaming and non-gaming lives. Two of the GMs are male, one female. Their usage of D&D to escape from their real lives is a stick that you're beaten with from early on. The fact that they're all portrayed (rightly or wrongly - it's all in the edit after all) as being fairly dysfunctional doesn't help one iota.
Much is made of Elizabeth's habit of covering herself in dark body make-up (she RPs a Drow (I'm sure D&D folk know what that is) elf.) She discusses her inability to make relationships work ("my last boyfriend used to blow me off to raid Molten Core") but also says that she's either asleep or online. She wants a boyfriend who doesn't spend all his life in Azeroth but doesn't seem to be comfortable going out and meeting people IRL, in a non-gaming sense. This in itself is odd, as she's clearly adored by the male gamers she GMs for.
Richard appears to devise incredibly intricate campaigns and then send all the characters to their destruction. One such example appeared to have lasted years and the players didn't seem to have really come to terms with all the time and energy they'd put into their creations being wiped out, on what appeared to be a whim of his. In a similar vein, he explains how he left his first wife and step-children without telling them anything, "I asked her to drive me to the airport and when I got out the car, I said "I hope you have your keys because I'm not coming back" *shrug*"
Scott is writing a book. His wife appears to be the breadwinner and holding everything together. They don't seem happy - there are uncomfortable snippets where it's apparent that she'd rather he was actually contributing to their life, in a 'normal' way.
It's just all a bit saddening really. Whilst I accept that gaming can be away to escape from RL (and I've been guilty of it on at least one occasion) I wish that they'd made more effort to give the film a balanced view. If you met Himself, or any of his friends you'd *never* think they gamed. I've stopped being offended by people being amazed and telling me I'm not the "type", when I 'fess up to my hobby. I still enjoy (kinda - depending on my mood) the look on people's faces when they find out that Himself and I met, not just online in the dating sense (like 'normal' people do) but online in an MMORPG.
I guess I dislike stereotypes and 'documentaries' such as this one just doesn't do any of us any favours. Or do they? Daughter has blazed a trail through her school by being so utterly unapologetic about being an "emo" and a "geek", responding to teasing and taunts with a "yes...and?" comment. To the point that she's gained popularity (notoriety?) with her peers - she hates this mind you, raging that if, all of a sudden she's "cool" and her "look" is being emulated, what does this leave her with? "Do I need to dye my hair blond now, wear mini-skirts and cover myself in make-up to STOP being cool???" She's finally accepted that she needs to wear specs (she's ragingly astigmatic) and has proper geek girl glasses, with heavy black rims. Fully expecting grief for this, she returned home today looking bemused, "Everyone says my glasses are really cool and they want ones like them *deep sigh*" and much as we tell her that by being able to be "different" and stand up for herself so effectively, she's giving others the courage to be who they want to be, she's still anti-cool. So here's the question: do we want gaming etc to be viewed as cool or are we happy with our geek image?
And that's me done for the weekend - happy Friday folks, see you on Monday :)