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By Eric Campos | July 22, 2004

What’s nerdier than playing Dungeons & Dragons? Gathering your gaming buddies and making a movie about playing Dungeons & Dragons.
I never got into the whole Dungeons & Dragons thing. I was around when the craze hit in the 80s, but I was too young to find anyone who would be willing to play with me. The last thing teenage stoner geeks want when spending an afternoon indulging in a little D&D is a ten-year-old kid trying to break up the game by essentially being the Jar Jar Binks of the crew. Well, maybe spilling bong water on that new Iron Maiden record would be worse, but the point is that I just wasn’t welcome.
But this movie isn’t about me, nor is it really for me…it may not be for you either. But one thing’s for sure, for people out there who play role playing games, they’ll absolutely love “The Gamers,” and that’s who the filmmakers are aiming to please here. They aren’t trying to pull a new audience into their fold, or perhaps show the uninitiated a whole new side of life they aren’t used to. “The Gamers” speaks directly to gamers and it’s actually fairly well made to boot.
A group of college buddies gather on a Friday night to assume the roles of characters they’ve spent hours creating and, most probably, days beefing up and trying to keep alive. Yes sir, these guys are geeks, and as they dive headlong into the adventure the DM (that’s Dungeon Master to you) sets forth, we’re taken into their fantasy world where we’re shown our gamers dressed as their respective characters – the thief, the elf, the warrior, etc. This is where a lot of micro-budget films would fail, but the filmmakers are so obviously into the whole D&D thing that they have totally believable costumes for the characters. Dare I say it? They’re kinda cool. The setting for this fantasy world comes courtesy of the green Tacoma, Washington area, a perfect landscape for these adventurers to travel. They even find “ancient ruins” and a dungeon to wander through. These guys were prepared for sure.
Besides the craftiness of the filmmakers and the humorous performances from the entire cast, the thing I most admired was that they knew the momentum their story had and decided to make a short film. Most any other filmmakers would’ve stretched this film to feature length, creating a torturously dull experience, even for their target audience who would give up after the hour mark and go play their own goddamn game.
One thing’s for sure – I’m never going camping again. Not that I’m scared of the Blair Witch. F**k that turd. I’m just afraid that I’ll come across a bunch of Dungeons & Dragons geeks, in full get-up, swinging their swords at each other. Jesus that sounded dirty.

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