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Dire Bare

Legend
Huh. Interesting that this film no longer seems to be available in any format, anywhere.

I had this on my Amazon queue to watch at some point, but never got around to it. Oops. The hyperbolic marketing put me off, "Everything you know about the history of D&D IS WRONG!" No, most of what I know about D&D history is correct, thank you very much.

Dave Arneson's contribution to the genesis of D&D, the focus of this documentary, is often overlooked in the hobby, but it's hardly unknown, especially to long-time, hardcore fans. The marketing materials for this film give the impression that Arneson is solely responsible for D&D's creation, and that this "secret" has been suppressed for years . . . . whatever.

If and when this documentary becomes available again, if the price is reasonable . . . I'll probably watch it. Hopefully the documentary is better than it's marketing materials suggest.
 



I hope the film comes back - it was really a nice summary of Arneson's contributions. I had a few minor technical issues (subtitles overlaying info boxes, some documents shown too short), but generally it was both entertaining and informative.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
@Dire Bare It isn't as bad as you are expecting. It definitely has a strong flavor of Arne not being properly recognized for his contributions. But it is not anti-Gygax. It tries to debunk some of the claims that Arneson just shared some ideas but Gary put in all the work. But it doesn't overstate it. Arneson just never had the output, just was not as industrious or as charismatic as Gygax. But Arneson did more for the hobby than simply share some ideas to stoke Gygax's imagination.

I backed this on Kickstarter and am also backing the Gygax documentary from Geeks of Yore. I also backed Eye of the Beholder, the documentary on D&D Art. I love learning about the history of the hobby. Secrets of Blackmore is at least worth streaming on Amazon Prime. So is Eye of the Beholder.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
@Dire Bare It isn't as bad as you are expecting. It definitely has a strong flavor of Arne not being properly recognized for his contributions. But it is not anti-Gygax. It tries to debunk some of the claims that Arneson just shared some ideas but Gary put in all the work. But it doesn't overstate it. Arneson just never had the output, just was not as industrious or as charismatic as Gygax. But Arneson did more for the hobby than simply share some ideas to stoke Gygax's imagination.

I backed this on Kickstarter and am also backing the Gygax documentary from Geeks of Yore. I also backed Eye of the Beholder, the documentary on D&D Art. I love learning about the history of the hobby. Secrets of Blackmore is at least worth streaming on Amazon Prime. So is Eye of the Beholder.
Thanks! I did enjoy "Eye of the Beholder" on Amazon.

I was planning on (eventually) watching "Secrets of Blackmoor" too, but, it got yanked before I got around to it. I didn't move quickly enough, as I said, the marketing hyperbole put me off.

Good, honest, fair and effective marketing is certainly possible . . . but most marketing folks aren't any good at it and produce marketing that drives me up the wall, even with products/services that I would otherwise enjoy. Like perhaps this film.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
What do you think of the film itself? Worth watching? A fair treatment of early D&D history and Arneson's contribution?
It's been several months since I watched it, and I've also been making a study of the early days of the hobby for the last few years, so take all of this with a grain of salt, but my impression was that it's a very good film for filling in the details regarding Dave Arneson's contributions to the creation of D&D. It focuses largely on the pre-publication days of the game, talking about how he came up with the ideas that he did, how he met the early members of what would become "the Blackmoor Bunch," etc.

It's definitely not an anti-Gygax film, as @MNblockhead noted. While I seem to recall some mild pushback on the view that Gary made D&D, this was largely more of a spotlight/send-up of Arneson. It's definitely a good film, and worth watching. Especially if you get all of the extras, which include a lot of interviews that didn't make it into the final cut.
 

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