“WORLD OF DARKNESS”— The Shaping of Film, Literature, Fashion, Club Culture, and Fans

“WORLD OF DARKNESS”

The Shaping of Film, Literature, Fashion, Club Culture, and Fans

Amos Lassen

In the early 1990s a game was introduced that caused a change affected many areas of current society. “Vampire: The Masquerade” introduced us to a dark side and it embraced ideas of being a creature of the dark instead of hunting it.

The documentary. “World of Darkness” looks at the game that came from White Wolf Publishing. It starts back at the roots of White Wolf and shares its story up to the present day, some 30 plus years. We look at what it meant to be a player in the early days when roleplaying games were just gaining a place on the fringes of society. “Vampire” influenced the roleplaying game industry and brought about the rise of the narrative and movie further away from a heroic fantasy setting and brought more women into the roleplaying community.

As the film explores the gaming industry and beyond, we see the influences on pop and on modern classic horror films. But there is more to the story than the influences on the media culture. Profiles of the live action events and the players who attend are scattered throughout the movie and we see that the game has influenced many and still continues to be regular entertainment for many people.

 

There have been troubles along the way for White Wolf and the documentary covers some of that and the film even includes commentary from the founder of the fan club who ended up in court with the company. It also looks at the attempt to become an online gaming presence and the hardships faced as the company had to change directions as entertainment modes changed.

Many of the facts we get here are widely known but this is a celebration of the game and the movement it helped grow. We do not see the company as being perfect but rather through a more holistic approach.

For fans of roleplaying games, this is a movie that will give a better understanding of what is happening with these games and how they have changed, and continue to change. This is a look at the history of the White Wolf company and their historic horror. It not only looks at the games but also at the culture and style that they created.

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The film is shot beautifully and lovingly by Giles Alderson, the director, and Andrew Rodger, the cinematographer. All of the makers of the original games discuss their contributions to all of the World of Darkness titles. We see the evolution of the games and the growth of the community. As the film moves forward, we see different larpers getting into costume for their games of Vampire the Masquerade and learn of  the impact of White Wolf games on pop culture.

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