The Seer Vitz

The Movie Industry's Representation of the RPG Industry

Thoughts of the Great God James, as told to James A. Vitz

There have not been many movies that dealt with role-playing. Sure, there have been fantasy movies, and science fiction movies, and tons of thrillers based on Vampires, but not many movies directly involve themselves with the role-playing idea. However, one movie does come to mind: Mazes and Monsters!

Unfortunately, this movie pretty much depicts how the majority of the uneducated look at role-playing games. Now, do not get me wrong, by uneducated I do not mean anything derogatory. By uneducated, I only mean those people who are not familiar with the way role-playing games are played; those people who have misconceptions about the people who play said games. These are the type of people that believe role-players are either Satanic or are not right in the head!

In Mazes and Monsters, staring Tom Hanks, by the way, the plot revolves around a group of college students that play a role-playing game. As would be expected of this type of movie, the main character eventually becomes so into the game that he loses sight of reality. But, unfortunately, this is the way many people perceive role-playing. They hear stories of the few, the ones that play in the sewers or the ones that kill people as part of the game, and think that the game is bad!

Television movies are no better! Of all the ones I have seen, they all involve the negative aspect of role-playing. But, I guess that a true movie about the good side of role-playing would not be as interesting, and would disappoint people's preconceived ideas about it.

However, it can be possibly noted in a positive note that not many recent movies have involved the negative aspect of role-playing games. Could this be because the general public is becoming more accepting of role-playing? Or is this only because there has not been a recent case of negative role-playing in a while? Who knows for sure? But at least WE all know the truth about role-playing!

James A. Vitz
RPG Columnist