“The Dungeon Master”

*The New Yorker* on Dungeons and Dragons:

“Guys,” I say. “Stop it. Come on. Let’s decide about the dragon. You really want to bail?”

“Better safe than sorry,” Marco says.

“Is that an old paladin saying?”

“You’re outvoted,” Cherninsky says to me. “Fine.” “O.K.,” Cherninsky says to the Dungeon Master. “We’ll just scoop up what’s near our feet and not rile the dragon. Can you roll for not riling the dragon?”

“Sure you want to do this?” the Dungeon Master asks. “This moment might never come again.”

“We’re sure.”

“Listen,” the Dungeon Master says. “I know I’ve been hard on all of you. I want to be more easygoing from now on. I want you to have fun.”

“This is fun,” Brendan says. “Really. Thank you. This is so exciting. But I think right now we should just grab a little gold and leave the cave.”

“This is pathetic,” I say. “It’s weenis.”

“You don’t know anything about real violence,” Brendan says.


“You heard.”

“It’s a dragon, man!”

I remember having this exact experience. Instead of taking the GM’s lead and ATTACKING THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF BAD GUYS we picked flowers and ate virtual corn.

The decade’s best in film villainy

The Idler nominates the five best villains of the noughties. Pleased to see one of the scariest characters on film made it:

The 2001 british gangster film Sexy Beast is certainly well-written and well directed, but its real claim to fame is Ben Kingsley’s performance as DON LOGAN. His introduction is pitch-perfect. He marches through an airport like a scud missile aimed squarely at former ganster Gary “Gal” Dove’s new found happiness.

The Cult of Me

Aleks Krotoski on adapting linear broadcast media for online audiences:

The online audience also wants a good yarn, but in addition they want to be part of the experience that gives them the sense that they’re the hero, that they are inherently involved in the story arc. They want their interests and beliefs to have an impact on what happens, they want to share this with their friends, and to be part of the group. In short, the digital media audience consumes its output to create a universe in which they are at the centre.