Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Geekumentary: Uber Goober

Uber Goober is about gamers, primarily miniatures gaming and role-playing (pen n' paper, LARP). It includes viewpoints from both gamers and detractors, and a trip to Origins, a large gaming convention in Ohio where, in 1996, I had what was technically my "first date" with my husband, a tournament Magic: the Gathering player with a #2 world ranking in Type 2 back then. I still remember sitting on the steps there with him, sipping coffee and watching the vampires LARP. So romantic.

Uber Goober covers the gaming scene of 4-5 years ago, when female game geeks were less common, and gaming was far less en vogue than it is now. One guy comments on his choice of appearing in sillouette (i.e., anonymous) in his interviews. He said he comes from a very conservative work environment (law enforcement), and he doesn't want any of his co-workers to know he's a role-player.

DUUUUDE! If they're ultra-conservatives who would take a dim view on this stuff, they're probably not going to be watching a geek documentary about gamers. Be proud of your heritage! Of course, that's easier said now than it was when this doc was made, but it made me a little sad that he felt he needed to hide the fact.

Gamers, in fact, are normal. Religious fanatics, NOT religious people in general, but the ones that believe that a D&D GM is actually masquerading as God and can project their image into movie theaters to see movies for free...THOSE guys are the freaks.

There's a lot of interesting information about the hobby in general, and some really great comments from D&D creator Gary Gygax:
"The modern hobby gaming industry is not going much of any place because of the severe competition from electronic games. Home computer games are going to be like the feature film industry in their popularity. Even more popular are going to be online games; that's the television of gaming. And then I'm afraid that the broadway theater is the in-person paper and pencil gaming. The finest experience, but relatively small."

- Gary Gygax

Now there's a prophetic statement. This movie came out in 2004, before the gaming industry surpassed the film industry in revenue and before World of Warcraft...did what it did to the MMO gaming landscape. If you ARE an uber goober, this movie is worth watching PURELY for the Gygax footage, including the additional interview material found in the bonus section where he talks about the origins of Dungeons & Dragons, TSR, and GenCon. Wow.

Well, that and the songs. They're great.

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