Rated: NR Running Time: Year: 2006 Boobs: Zero One Sentence: LIGHTNING BOLT! The winner for audience pick for best documentary at SXSW was DARKON. Darkon is a realm around Baltimore, where men and women fight for honor or land or gold. Their war calls can be heard for miles, arrows fly, swords squish against one another, and you must always watch out for the dark elves. Darkon is a LARPing community. LARP stands for Live Action role Playing. You know the lighting bolt joke, that is what this is. Wizards, knights, elves and whatever else fight each other every other weekend in parks and forests in the Baltimore metro area. There are hundreds of these people. And that is one of the smaller communities in the country. Darkon the documentary, follows players through their lives, in and out of the game. It shows the human side of these people who most of us would consider the ultimate in geekdom. It is hard to find a higher level of uber nerd than the LARPer. The only thing that comes to mind is a kid who dies playing World of Warcraft. However I think that what this documentary is about, and the reason why it was the audience award winner, is that these people, are just like you and me. They have families, and kids, and jobs, and hobbies. Usually their hobbies are around Darkon, and they are quite dedicated to them, but it is no different than me and movies. The story unfolded and really showed people dedicated to a goal, and this world they created, and that for a time, they get to be a knight, or a maiden, or wizard. Anything they wanted to be, and that sometimes, these people who are not the most popular in the real world, can become gods in Darkon. The human story in this world is more apparent than a lot of docs, that have attempted this in the recent past. We can not empathize with those people usually, we really do not understand them. With Darkon, we can say we know a person like that, or are a person like that. It is fun, refreshing, and quite good storytelling. The movie itself blends battle footage, with home lives of many characters. Telling stories about things in the game or outside of the game. Their lives, their jobs, and their armor. The stories are funny and the geek level is super high. Some parts might leave you laughing out loud at someone that is totally serious, but by the end of the movie, you understand their point of view, and while still funny, it is not a separation of us and them. Nerds and non-nerds. It is a discovery that we as people are all really alike and that just because their thing is throwing Lighting Bolts at each other, doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it. The movie is not out yet, it is still working on distribution, if it does come out on DVD or release in theaters, I would rent it or check it out. Fun times for sure. 000043hh

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