One of the projects I’ve had on my mind lately is to introduce my family to Role Playing Games (RPGs). My daughter is old enough now and my wife has some friends that are also interested. I’ve often had trouble explaining what an RPG actually does, because my wife had some rather strange previous experience with a college roommate. There really isn’t a good way to explain an RPG without playing it, other than comparing it to make-believe.
A couple of years ago, I ordered a copy of the movie Über Goober: A Film About Gamers. The DVD features a serious look at gamers and the world of gaming. The movie is broken into sections, with each section examining another type of gamer. The film begins with a look at the world of the historical miniature gamer, who consider themselves “less odd” than other gamer types, and continues all the way to Live Action Role Players (LARPers), who are quite proud to be considered eccentric.
The Über Goober Website describes the film in this way:
Über Goober focuses on the often-misunderstood, sometimes-controversial, and always-kind-of-geeky world of Gamers. Metze examines several different groups including historical miniature gamers, role-players, and those known simply as “LARPers” (Live Action Role Players). The film also explores opposition from religious groups, negative media portrayals ranging from sit-coms to post-Columbine news coverage, and some of the meanest ‘man-on-the-street’ interviews ever committed to video. Meet the Gamers, learn their exotic language, see their bizarre rituals, gasp at their semi-authentic costumes, and thrill to the painting techniques on their miniatures!
Shot on MiniDV, the film runs 90 minutes and featured interviews include Dungeons and Dragons creator E. Gary Gygax, televangelist Bob Larson, author Mike Stackpole, and cartoonist John Kovalic, along with music by “The Great Luke Ski.”
The film is only $10 to order, and I think it’s money well spent. I let someone borrow my copy and haven’t seen it since, but I’m sure it will find its way home at some point.