Movie of the Day – Darkon

Today’s post is more or less inspired by the kids in the neighborhood that are mock playing Medieval battles.  As children we all played war games, picking up a nerf gun and pretending to be badass and flying through the air shooting people.  If you were kid like me, then you had a fake lightsaber and pretend to choke the shit out of brother and slay the weak Jedi.  We all in some form or another enjoy some sort of fantasy realm that we immerse ourselves in.  Some people play Dungeon and Dragons for escapism, letting their imagination craft a world in which they are a hero.  Others pretend to be a general manager of a football team and draft players to score them points or something.  I honestly don’t know anything about Fantasy Football and think it’s stupid and the people who play it are just one dice roll away from being the Dungeon and Dragons nerds that they make fun of.  Seriously, there is nothing more nerdy than recalling passing stats for a quarterback and making sure to rotate players everyday or whatever.  My quarterback casts magic hail mary pass and does 7 points of damage to the opposing team.

So while some people have a different fantasy about being a sports team manager (YAWN) and others dream of being some badass knight kicking the ass of some dungeon master, there are others that take it one step further.

Darkon is a documentary that follows the Darkon Wargaming Club stationed out in Baltimore, Maryland.  The documentary follows the real life and role-playing life of several members of the group.  We get to peer into the lives of some people who immerse themselves into their fictional character, almost willing them into being.  Darkon does look to mock or make light their hobby, but rather show the viewers that there are some people out there, who’s lives actually start  when the 9-5 work is over.

Now if you have seen Role Models, they sort of lampoon the idea of LARPing and use it for comedic effect.  While funny as it may be, Role Models didn’t really put the hobby of LARPing under a bad light.  They embraced the nature of the hobby and found their lead actors loving every second of it.  The documentary is an honest portrayal of the lives of the people who have crafted a beautiful history and code of ethics that go into the game.

Just watching the documentary is amazing, particularly when you see how intricate and rich the back story of the realm of Darkon is and the relationships that each kingdom has.  Some created this illustrious and deep story for their realm and the people that inhabit the group, all get into their characters as if they are real.  The people that are followed don’t have much control in their non-Darkon lives.  They seem unhappy, not in control, wishing that they could do something different and when it comes time to be there character and march out onto the field, they change instantly.  They are no longer a housewife, barista, stock boy, but rather a Knight, a warrior or a leader.  Darkon allows them to be something that they always wished they could be and this documentary paints a humanizing face on those that play this game.

While the stories and people they are touching, Darkon itself looks really fun.  I mean big battles, elaborate castles, fucking siege weapons with arrows and catapults.  I mean, what the fuck?  This looks way cooler than running around with a nerf gun and going all gangster with the foam dart.  It’s a rich, expansive experience and Darkon sheds light on something that most people would probably ridicule as being childish.  These people are taking their love of fantasy and story telling to a whole other level.  They are acting out what they dream and wish they could be.  I am sure the same can’t be said for the millions of arm-chair quarterbacks who think they could throw a pass better than the pros or run a team better than a sports coach.


About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

5 Responses to Movie of the Day – Darkon

  1. Frank Bishop says:

    I remember when I saw Darkon. I’m a nerd and fully knowledgeable of nerd like things. However, this movie made me giggle. It was interesting and I did like some of the people’s stories too.

    • Nick says:

      It is kind of funny when other nerds sort of judge the larping community. I mean if you play D and D, this is the next logical step to take their fantasy life to in terms of geekdom

  2. Frank Bishop says:

    Meh, if anybody should be allowed to make fun of nerds, it is other nerds. I’ve tried DnD, couldn’t do it. I played WoW instead. Seriously though, I got so excited over MW3 my fiancee still rips on me about it, rightly so because I reverted to a 3 year old.

    Nerds get it.

  3. Chris says:

    It’s nice to see someone write about it that’s not completely condescending way. I say, good for them for doing something they love. It’s better than being lazy asses sitting around. At least they’re burning calories I guess. I couldn’t get in to it, I don’t have the balls to let loose and not give a shit about how I look. I want to get laid. To me though, that says they are more comfortable with themselves and who they are that they can do this stuff openly.

    • Nick says:

      I completely agree with you. This is just another hobby that has a more physical projection to it. Instead of just playing pen and paper adventures, these people are literally crafting an adventure and it looks amazing. I applaud those people that go out and do this cause it looks so engaging and fun if you are doing it with the right group of people. Darkon wasn’t really an eye opener as I know people who do this, but it was such a well done documentary that handled the material with love and care.

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