Thursday, May 17, 2012

[Dice Chuckers] Why I'm Having Talented People Direct the Film

It's been a dream of mine to make a documentary about role playing games and gamers. Since I was a kid, I have thought that the representations of gamers in the mass media have been denigrating.  I think that Michelle Nephew, in the excerpt of her dissertation published in Gaming As Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity And Experience in Fantasy Games, captures the presentation of gamers perfectly when she writes:

[R]ole-players are problematic for the dominant culture, can't be dismissed as intellectually inferior...In reaction to this unresolveable circumstance, fan cultures are instead interpreted by the dominant culture as being brainless consumers, cultivators of worthless knowledge, who place inappropriate importance on devalued cultural material.  They are seen as social misfits, emotionally and intellectually immature, unable to separate fantasy from reality, and are feminized or desexualized as a result.

The dominant culture's attempts to feminize and desexualize participants in the RPG fan culture can be seen in the yearly media coverage of GenCon, the United States' largest role-playing convention.  Full-page color spreads of convention-goers dressed in medieval armor or as Klingons regularly decorated the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's City pages before the convention moved to Indianapolis in 2003.  Other photos showed awkward, aging boys with Dungeons & Dragons t-shirts stretched taut across their bellies, holding up their prized custom-painted fantasy miniatures for the camera.  Year after year, the media coverage of the event took a "look at the freaks" approach that did, indeed, portray male RPG fans as de-gendered, asexual, and impotent.
She doesn't mince words, does she?

This is exactly the kind of presentation that we don't want to do with Dice Chuckers.  Yes, we want to show gamers having fun and cutting loose at conventions like Gen Con.  Cos-Play can be a great way to enjoy one's self at a con, but it isn't the sole behavior of convention attendees nor are most Cos-Players infantile in their day to day lives. We want to show subjects who play role-playing games and for whom the playing of these games has been a benefit.  Whether as a creative outlet, a place of inspiration, or a place to make and keep life long friends, hobby gaming is a wonderful hobby and I want to share my love of that hobby.

Now...if I were to make a film about the hobby by myself, it might end up looking something like the "Support Dice Chuckers" video I put together using my iPhone.  You can watch it below...needless to say, there is a reason I will be working with Wes and other professionals.  The fact that I was unable to capture the sound properly -- due to background noise -- combined with the my classic Hong Kong style dubbing are proof that my skills lie in recruiting participants and not in filming them.

Please support our humble project.  We'd love to make the film, and to make one that will make the hobby proud.

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