Dorkness Rising

Every group has their rites of passage, those things that they all have in common, that forms a common bond and binds them together. These are the things that inside jokes spring from, that are integral to understanding the group dynamics. That must be foisted upon anyone new who seeks to be a part of the group. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Army of Darkness.

One of those things for me and my friends is The Gamers: Dorkness Rising.

Pretty much everyone in our usual Friday night “gaming” group has seen it, and if they haven’t we quickly remedy that. What is it? Well, as you would expect most of my friends already know. But for those of you who don’t, it’s a movie about tabletop roleplaying games, and the gamers who play them. And as these things must be when dealing with such a serious and heavy subject matter, it is a comedy.

If you’ve done any tabletop gaming, you will pretty much find this movie hilarious. It pokes fun at the insanity inherent in most player character actions, setting a GM with engrossing (to him) story ideas against his power-gaming compatriots.

But watching a bunch of people sitting around a table rolling dice and scratching notes on character sheets would get boring very quickly. Dorkness Rising gets around this by having the actors playing the PCs also play their characters, who wander around in full garb through the wilderness and various dungeons, seeking to defeat the evil necromancer. This is especially entertaining, as one of the players keeps forgetting that his Chaotic “Neutral” sorcerer is, in fact, female.

There is one caveat to this, however: I’m not sure how funny the movie if you’re not into RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. There’s something unique to how people react when sharing a communal experience around a table that doesn’t quite translate to other types of multiplayer gaming. That being said, Dorkness Rising does a great job portraying that spontaneity (read: barely-contained caffeine-fueled insanity). If you haven’t seen it, you totally should. And hey, it’s on sale at GOG for the next few hours. It is definitely worth the money.