I know nothing about Dungeons & Dragons except that it (they?) exist and probably have something to do with games on a screen. Or maybe not, but whatever:
For a certain sort of fan, the crowdfunding pitch was impossible to resist. Here was a chance, it announced, to support a documentary about the immortal saga of the legendary game that all but revolutionized modern life. No pressure.
Three filmmakers promised nothing less than the origin story of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, “a cautionary tale of an empire built by friends and lost through betrayal, enmity, poor management, hubris and litigation,” they wrote on their Kickstarter page in 2012. They planned to chronicle the bitter battle waged by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the game’s creators, over credit and royalties.
In other words, they wrote: “Imagine ‘The Social Network‘ ” — the tortuous tale of Facebook’s founding — “but no one ends up rich.”
If the filmmakers saw a cautionary tale in the story of their shared passion, they failed to heed its lessons. More than $250,000 in Kickstarter pledges and two years later, there is no documentary, only broken friendships and a lawsuit.
So reports Vivien Yee in the New York Times and whatever the New York Times says must be fact. Although I’m having trouble acknowledging that line about “the legendary game that all but revolutionized modern life.” Since I’ve barely heard of it, it can’t be legendary, and since I’ve barely heard of it, it certainly can’t have revolutionized my life, unless I wasn’t paying attention at the time.
But I do like that line, “a cautionary tale of an empire built by friends and lost through betrayal, enmity, poor management, hubris and litigation,” although maybe it contains too many nouns. After three nouns, my attention wanders…