Documental: Darkon by Jamie

I consider myself a geek. I own a Force FX Lightsaber, over twenty Masters of the Universe action figures and a painting of the cast of Heroes hanging on my wall. But there are limits. There are lengths that even I will not go to when it comes to pursuing the geek arts and one of those lengths is LARPing (Live Action Role Playing), although I must admit, it does kind of fascinate me. I can certainly understand the appeal, the desire to pretend to be something more than what everyday modern living will allow but hell, I just drink to deal with that. In the world of Darkon, people take up sword and shield and fight to the “death” for honour and for country. Huzzah!

It is without a doubt the geekiest fucking thing I have ever seen. There are people who wear armour, people who wield foam covered sticks and people who paint their faces black and call themselves elves. They even speak in a crazy made-up elf language. To be fair, a lot of love and hard work has gone into the game and the world it takes place in. People band together to form different countries and the battles are fought in order to settle border disputes and outright invasions. These people even have a goddamn map so as to keep who own what exactly in order. Conflict arises when Bannor of Laconia challenges the imperialistic Keldar of Mordom throwing the whole realm of Darkon into war.

The movie does a good job of showing something that we all know. These people are sad. Really sad. They all pretty much admit that their lives have failed and that at least in Darkon they are in control, which is why it must really, really hurt when they lose a battle. And it’s not a sympathetic kind of life failure/dedication to one seemingly pointless thing like in King of Kong. You never really feel for any of the characters in Darkon like you do Steve Wiebe though I suppose you could pity them. Despite this the film  is still engaging. Perhaps it’s simply down to the fact that the people play the game with such sincerity and so seriously that you kind of get dragged into the story line of the realm they are playing in.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that that’s definitely it. The pieces between the battles where the people discuss their actual lives, why they play the game and how much better life is as their Darkon character are actually kind of distracting. They do provide background for the game and the characters within it but each time one of them pops on screen, I find myself getting bored until the next battle comes up. What can I say? These people have been role playing for a long, long time and have gotten the world down so perfectly that they are very adept at telling a story within it. Oh, and I’ve also learnt that you should never, never trust the black face paint elf dudes. They are treacherous bastards.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend at least renting Darkon and if you can find it cheap it really is worth picking up. It’s got people in armour on American football fields pounding the shit out of each other with foam covered weapons. How awesome is that? Now, I’m going to find out how much a spot of paintballing will cost. It’s no where as geeky as Darkon. Darkon was all about simulated battles using faux representations of actual weapons whereas paintballing is… Laterz.

Buy Darkon Here!

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