Fantasy Freaks And Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest For Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, And Other Dwellers Of Imaginary Realms (2009)
Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms (2009)
3.28 of 5 Votes: 2
1599214806 (ISBN13: 9781599214801)
Lyons Press
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This non-fiction work from 2008 sends the author on a quest through the many ways people act on their fantasty impulses - from D&D, to LARP, to Dragon*Con, to SCA, to World of Warcraft. At issue is whether this embrace of fantasy is, on one side, childish and embarrassing for adults to be involved in or, on the other side, an expression of joy and transformation to find something better in ourselves. As a D&D geek and lifelong fantasy reader, I enjoyed his investigations very much. Of interest for both those who partake in fantasy realms and for those who love them. I think if you have never picked up a controller, rolled a 20 sided die, or busted on a LARPer, this will be a revelation on the order of Tom Cruise walking around wide eyed and nervously aroused in Eyes Wide Shut. For most folks I know well or even semi-well, it feels like familiar and well tread ground. The author spends a lot of time inserting himself into the story, trying to understand his younger self's interest in fantasy through the eyes and experiences of those he meets who still indulge and enjoy. But there's a lot of defensiveness on the part of the author, which I found off-putting in tone, although I understood his intent. When he is into meeting with gamers and LARPers and cosplayers it picks up some, but those moments get dragged down, again and again, by the author's detours into self introspection. (Compare to the documentary Second Skin which trods some of this territory, in far more interesting and successful fashion.) The ultimate conclusion - that fantasy has a place in empowerment and enjoyment and should be embraced and incorporated - seemed pretty obvious throughout. And unlike reading some "I know that!" books that feel like a refresher, I found myself skimming this one with more of a "Tell me something new..." attitude. (Although, in fairness, some of the folks the author met - such as a group of folks building a medieval castle with old world techniques, or details about the early days of D&D were worth the time.)
Not enough fun was had in the writing of this book.
This is very entertaining so far ...
Review Coming.
2.5 *
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