Thursday, February 2, 2012

Old D&D Movie

Lots of people emailed me today asking me if I'd seen Ethan Gilsdorf's latest post over at Wired. Mr Gilsdorf, you may recall, wrote Fantasy Freaks & Gaming Geeks, which I reviewed back in 2010. His post at Wired includes a recently unearthed video shot back in 1981, showing him and his friends in New Hampshire playing D&D together. It's a very short movie, but well worth a look, especially if, like me, you were involved in the hobby back in those days.

Everything you'd expect to find is there -- dice, a DM's screen, goldenrod record sheets, even Mountain Dew -- so it's a real blast of nostalgia for me and I'm very happy he posted it. Makes me wish I had some photographic records of my early gaming, though, judging from the attire and haircuts in Mr Gilsdorf's video, perhaps it's just as well that I can't share such a thing with the world.

11 comments:

  1. Can anyone guess what module that is, based on the maps we can see? Maybe the one of the Giants series?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ethan and his buddies sure loved doing the little "rabbit ears" thing with their fingers!
    Wish I had some film of me and my buddies slingin' dice back in the day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So funny how the gaming culture was established early on. There was table talk. There was goofing off. There was bringing your latest gaming purchase (Gamma World) to the table to read during down time between turns. Snacks and soda.

    -Eli

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very cool, not the least of which is because it is from my wife's hometown of Lee, NH (and she thinks D&D is for weirdos like her husband). I'll be razzing her for a week now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. A remix of this They Might Be Giants song would be the perfect soundtrack for that video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=935XYGXrOqU

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Limpey - re the peace sign thing, yiou have to remember this was a time before not only cellphone cams and digicams, but before vidcams too. People hadn't yet mastered the art of being "on cam." I know on the rare occasion back then when I was in front of a moving image cam the rabbit ears would invariably come out. It was just what you did... :) Nowadays, by the time kids are 12 yrs old they've had hours and hours of on-cam experience and have spent loads of time working on their style. They know which is their best side. :)

    Lots of nostaligic feelings watching that vid. Good stuff! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. And to think, E.T. was right out in the shed while this was being filmed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Could really have done without the overly loud, 1930's Moviola machine sound effect. After a few seconds it was a very big distraction.

    A very normal looking group of lads; right out of a D&D magazine ad. I'm sure none of them grew up to be the angry old kooks on the OSR forums.

    I could have sworn I saw a doobie getting passed at one point. That, and the presence of some females, would have reminded me more of my gaming in the 80's.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You know what got me? It was seeing the blue map. And remembering the laminated feel of those old covers that the maps were on. It's a very strong memory.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.