I want to talk about the movie Airheads. Actually, I want to talk about one scene from the movie Airheads. That’s right, that fucking weirdo 1994 movie about idiot butt rockers taking a radio station hostage to play their shit song. Starring Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler and creepy Steve Buscemi who I’m convinced has never actually looked young. And the reason I want to talk about this film is that it represents the real treatment of Dungeons and Dragons, which was around for me both in person, and in the media, that I had grown used too.
Like a lot of people, I raced through Stranger Things on Netflix in a weekend and absolutely loved the freaking thing. Story, tone, setting, details and music all combined into a perfect warm broth of nostalgia and entertainment. I just wrapped myself up in it like a comfy blanket and enjoyed my time in that perfectly imagined world. Don’t worry, I’m not going to discuss any actual spoilers, but I will say there is some Dungeons & Dragons being played, and it’s handled pretty damn excellently. This made me ruminate again on a topic that crosses my mind every so often. How does the media, and specifically film and television, portray Dungeons & Dragons and roleplaying games in general? Are they laughing at it, honoring it, terrified of it or just ambivalent towards it? How has this portrayal changed over time? What trends does it speak to? And how does the treatment of roleplaying in these works of creativity and art reflect on the creators and the audience they’re speaking too? To answer these questions, and bore you kind folks to tears, I’m going to be taking a look at all the D&D in media I can, and waffling on about it because that is what the internet is for (well, besides porn, porn and cat videos).
Despite making bold proclamations that I couldn’t be arsed writing for Corehammer anymore and was instead throwing my limited energies into Dungeonpunx, it would appear I can’t leave well enough alone. I find myself at a loose end on a Saturday night with an urge to express some enthusiasm and to get this shit back on track. I wanted to write something positive about the stuff I enjoy. I love dogs and good pizza, ice cold cherry cokes, the Carcass back catalogue, D&D, John Blanche paintings and the many works of Mike Mignola. But most of all I love the defiant spirit of punk rock, the fire in the belly of those who just won’t quit, who believe in what they are doing despite all the obstacles and aggravations put in their path. It’s why I am excited about Nick Baran’s Broken Contract and Chris Brady’s Wild In The Streets. And it’s why I love Dead Earth Games. Continue reading
After much procrastination we have finally got our finger out and recorded the debut episode of the Corehammer podcast, which I have dubbed Dungeonpunx. I had been wanting to try my hand at podcasting for a while but the opportunity to get the rest of the OG Corehammer mournival around the table on the regular was proving to be an impossible feat. Despite my best efforts, conflicting schedules, geographical hinderance and a generous serving of good old fashioned apathy amongst our ranks put the clappers on my plan for full media dominance. I sulkily resigned my podasting ambitions to the steadily increasing mountain of ‘that could have been cool’ ideas.
Regular readers may recall my crisis of faith a few months back HERE Increasing pressures from work and university as well as recently volunteering a couple of Saturdays a month to work with autistic kids have led to a gradual withdrawal from regular posting and editing here, as well as a re-evaluation of what I really want out of the hobby. And whilst my 13th Company have not graced a battlefield since last years Corehammer Christmas party, I HAVE been playing D&D 5th Edition on the regular for just over a year and absolutely loving it.
A change in personal responsibilities meant that I recently had to take a hiatus from my usual Wednesday night D&D sessions. In anticipation of this I set up a regular Sunday afternoon session with a group of close friends that were keen to give D&D a try but had very little experience of actual RPG’s. Being the only member of the group familiar with 5th Ed D&D I grudgingly found myself sitting in the DM’s chair and after a few clumsy sessions we have found our feet and really got stuck into it. The natural rapport that already existed between Boardy, Max, Ager, Tom, Connor and I translated well into creating a comfortable and entertaining gaming dynamic. It soon occurred to me that this gang of cocky dungeoneers could perhaps serve a dual purpose and so I revived the idea of starting a podcast with the rest of the crew as my conspirators & co-hosts and lo, Dungeonpunx was born.