I Hit It With My Axe: Episode One: Meet the Party

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I really did not enjoy this video at all. Aside from being of generally questionable quality (which I don't view as a deal-breaker), I can't really understand the appeal or reason for its existence. I've tried to justify it on a few levels, but nothing pans out.

Is it a depraved attempt to gather nerd attention with sex appeal? It doesn't seem so. Sure, they're in the adult entertainment industry. But nothing happens that could be remotely considered sexy. If the mere presence of women is enough to get you excited, then the same "pandering to nerd sex-drive" logic could be said for any video on the Escapist with female cast members.

Is it shocking that it's about porn stars? Sweet lord, no. The only people nowadays who are shocked by discussion of porn stars and lurid material is my grandparents. We don't live in the 50's. Porn stars have even run for public office in today's world.

Is it shocking that people besides fat nerds play DnD? No. There's enough popular media references and minor celebrities that have "come out" as DnD nerds to severely hamper the fat nerd mythos (see Vin Diesel video). The group I play with weekly is composed entirely of my fraternity brothers (or frat boys, as the more prejudice among you may know us). Our DM picked up on the game when he was in Iraq. You know, in between fighting a war. We break the fat nerd stereotype. Does that mean we should get a show on the Escapist? Absolutely not, because of the answer to my next question.

Is it fun to watch people play DnD? NO! The crossword example given previously in the forum is perfect. The game is fun if you play it. An onlooker may be intrigued by what happens at the table as a first introduction, but they're only going to get caught up in the social experience if they participate. There are some videos/movies out there that I absolutely adore that are based on tabletop games, but they're fiction. Scenes are scripted, rehearsed, and edited to get the maximum impact out of the scenarios revolving around the world of tabletop gaming without uninteresting, unimportant, poorly delivered dialogue that results from any real gaming group. For every witty comment you and your friends have while gaming, there's about 5 that are lame or too inside for a general audience.

Is it a good ambassador for tabletop gaming? I don't think it's going to sway any tabletop haters to pick up some dice and start rolling. It may convince some gamers to pursue careers in the adult industry, though.

In summary, I've tried to look at this from every angle. I cannot find any reason anyone would find this interesting, nor why the Escapist would pick it up as a series. It has a weak, up-front premise with no actual indication that we can hope for improvement in the long-run. I hope Escapist drops this series. I'll be doing my part by not watching it as hard as I can.

Some of you are way too critical. It's not costing you anything, and if you don't like it, don't watch it.

I guess some of you would really enjoy living in a world in which no one ever tries anything different. In that world, 99% of the games you have enjoyed would never have been designed in the first place.

Lighten up, people.

this seems way to boring for me to watch, could of brought something like unforgotten realms back

Zak, WTF, I liked it. But to be honest, I follow your blog so it's like seeing old friends. Because of that though I can't pretend I can watch it with fresh eyes so I don't have anything to offer in the "it's boring" "it's not boring" debate.

Camera work & lights? Doesn't worry me, but it is kind of rough. Although me & my group played last night & you know? Now I think of it the mise-en-scene is not dissimilar to my own recollections of the table after 2 or 3 beers & my cleric's just bitten the dust vs the boss in the endgame with our barb the Hulk jumping up and down screaming "we need fucking healing here NOW" at the paladin who's like, "but I only got one healing shot left--do you think?" while Jules our amniesiac demonologist just stares at them kind of glazey-eyed and starts mumbling into his red wine and so forth. So, maybe the production values aren't so whacked after all, artistically speaking.

Actually the more I think about that, and the chaotic kind of nature of your games & your group, it's possible the Blair Witch camera work could be just about the only style that *would* faithfully capture the spirit of being in that room with you all.

RE: the comments that the show's contrived and some kind of blatant cross-promotion sellout (although exactly who's selling out, the pornstas or the geeks, doesn't seem to be agreed)--this is kind of [very] funny actually, seeing as this is an actual group that's actually been playing together in an actual campaign for what, actual months now. With you actually GMing.

That's my 2. Can't wait to see the rest of the shows.

This is the most boring video I've ever seen in my life. I don't honestly understand whose idea it is that watching in on role playing games is amusing, but for some reason these shows keep popping up on here. This particular one has awful production - anyone else notice the speaker feedback around the 2 minute mark? - and seems to be riding purely on the idea that it fulfills someone's fantasy of pornstars playing D&D.

It seems to me that The Escapist is just desperately trying to make the Zero Punctuation lightning strike twice; flooding the site with new and unrefined attempts to combine gaming and humour. Most of these are downright dull: Unskippable's actual cutscenes are frequently funnier than the commentary that comes with them; I wouldn't understand what Rebecca Mayes is singing were it not for the captions, and even then it takes too long to set up a decent parody; ENN has decent material but it's frequently ruined by a lack of comic timing; Game Dogs is just completely unfunny. I don't know if they already hire writers, but if they aren't, that would be my first suggestion for how to improve the existing shows and establish a standard for any potential newcomers.

0over0:
Some of you are way too critical. It's not costing you anything, and if you don't like it, don't watch it.

I guess some of you would really enjoy living in a world in which no one ever tries anything different. In that world, 99% of the games you have enjoyed would never have been designed in the first place.

Lighten up, people.

So as long as I don't pay money for it I should keep my opinion to myself? That's pretty weak as far as arguments go, especially considering that this premise seems to work only for negative reviews. If I got your concept right, ideally this comment section should consist of nothing but absolute praise, because it's "different".

Which brings me to the second point: Most supporters here argue it's "new", "fresh" or "different". Care to tell me why? It's people playing D&D. I don't really see how this is different or new at all. And knowing their profession doesn't change the fact that they're just playing D&D. Not a bit. (And no, even tossing in some sexual remarks doesn't add anything unusual to the setting.) The only thing which would make this different is if they would switch between the real world and the "Roleplay"-world - only that even this has been done about a hundred bazillion times already.

So...yeah, I'd like to hear how any of that is...special. You know, apart from throwing in a would-be-controversy that reeks of attention-hogging.

I'm interested from the perspective of seeing how an all-female group plays D&D, as I've only ever run all-male and mixed groups myself.

There's certainly a lot of hatred out here for this one, but I'm not sure what the basis of it is. I see the reasons why people think they hate it, but all it seems to me to be is "this feature does not please my particular demographic".

/shrug

this seemed a bit pointless to me to be honest.
Is it an attempt to make D&D cool?

EDIT Also, isn't making a show about porno stars tempting people to incur the moderators wrath with inappropriate comments?

There's only one thing that really stuck out to me throughout the episode: Who's the jackass with the GSM phone close to the microphone? When will people learn to keep those damn things away from audio amplification equipment?!

I don't get why people expect it to be shocking. I don't watch ANYTHING on the Escapist because it's shocking, hell I don't even watch most of it because it's novel. Unskippable and Zero Punctuation are far from new or shocking concepts. But I still love watching because they do what they do so well.

It's just a show about people interacting in a fun way. You can argue about the people being interesting or shows like this in general being interesting or entertaining, that's a personal preference.

I don't get why people are demanding it to be world shockingly original though.

Russ Pitts, you crazy genius. You've humanized D&D to a mass audience. This is a clever and very cool video series.

I am surprised, amazed, liberated, confused, and very, VERY intrigued.

Only on The Escapist.

A friend of mine said that there was a new show on here and defined it as "a bunch of porn stars playing DnD" and I thought he was being sarcastic with the porn star aspect of that sentence but it appears not....

Anyway; I got bored pretty quick and only made it 3/4 way through the episode. The camera was really annoying as were the girls but I shan't give up on it quite yet.

Top notch camera work. Acually made me feel just like I was watching some home-made porno :D

Vinticore:
Top notch camera work. Acually made me feel just like I was watching some home-made porno :D

are you kidding iv seen much better filmed porn

This show just isn't going to work. Why? Because you have some generally unfunny people playing D&D for the first time. This means that they will likely not say anything humorous and that they are not familiar enough with the game to make interesting characters.

See, in general, it's more fun doing something that watching someone else doing it. I'd prefer to go play a tabletop RPG with some friends than watch a bunch of people who have no idea what they are doing play it.

Weak. Powerfully weak.

I'll have to say, this video is a bit different from what I've previously seen Mandy Morbid in.

ZING!

Nggghh... Really not my thing.
I like Sasha Gray in porn and D&D on my dining room table... actually I wouldn't mind her on my dining room table. But still I didn't really find this entertaining...

What to watch now Arcade Apocalypse has ended...
Zero Punctuation and ENN (anything from LRR),
will be the only things I watch at the Escapist.
Actually I'm alright with that.

Lemme know if this becomes Strip D&D.

Wow that was, odd.

Not "bad odd" like kung fu grip from way back, the good kind of odd.

I couldn't even make it through one minute of this video. Extreme boredom.

There is a time I want to see porn stars sucking, but it ain't at D&D!

Has The Escapist Jumped the Shark?

Find out next time on... I HIT IT WITH MY AXE!

In all seriousness though, I'm getting mixed signals from this. I'll stick around for another episode (because I saw just a glimpse of potential in there, and it didn't involve boobs), but other than that I don't know.

Ok, I've had time to re-focus and collect my opinion and can now elaborate on my original comment.

I couldn't find this interesting, which I've stated, this is for many different reasons.

I couldn't understand why the Escapist even needs another show. It's pretty much flooded with content already and it's starting to actually suffer from it.

The Production is awful, I mean 100% authentic amateur porn with no editing has seen better than this. (at least there's no phone distortion in Voyeur)

The Premise while seemingly interesting is not news to me.

Attractive women in all different walks of the entertainment industry have indulged in 'nerdy' habits, Mila Kunis (Meg from Family Guy) is supposedly an avid PVPer on World of Warcraft.

The whole point of this 'show' just seems insulting to my intelligence. Yes, 'hot' promiscuous women can be nerdy too, this has always been the case, nothing has changed.

It came out of virtually nowhere. Seriously Escapist, this one is your fault, if you're going to bring in a new show, TELL THE AUDIENCE ABOUT IT FIRST. You did this well enough with everything else...

Which brings me to another point, I've read a few comments saying that if we
"Want to understand the show better then we have to read a blog made by the creator"
I'm sorry, where was it mentioned that we had to read a blog to understand a shows pilot?
There's no blog link in the description, and again without prior notice to this shows existence how would we have known about this blog?

Beyond that, what kind of Pilot needs a blog post somewhere else to explain what it's about? That's the point of a Pilot episode.

I think I've covered most of the issues here, So I'm sorry but unlike Game Dogs I don't think I'll be giving this one any second chances to impress me.
If other people want to enjoy it, go ahead, I'm just not going to try and be one of them this time.

It's a damn shame.

I for one quite enjoyed it, not for quality nor the overall action but because its something different. Sometimes people complain that internet and media all together is nothing but mindless flashy entertainment with big celebrity starts singing dancing or cooking or 3in1 same time and then when something different comes up they just go 'meh giev me flashyness!'.
It might be my job deviation speaking through me but I find it interesting enough to peek on it.
No matter what some of You may say, porn industry is still a bit of taboo, maybe not in Your local community, not among Your friends/c-workers but overly its still seen as something shady and vile. Probably most of people watching all those porn flicks never wonders who are the shined up models doing those seemingly impossible couch excercises outside of the movie set.
Saying that im not sure if it fits escapist all that well in what it tries to show but I for one welcome any new expierience.

wow... porn stars and D'n'D, Thank you Internet.

Concept was great.
However it did get pretty boring.

beddo:
This seems like a pathetic way to try and get people to spend more time on the Escapist. So some women with lose morals who are effectively prostitutes, the only difference being it's filmed, play some Dungeons and Dragons.

It's completely dull and designed to bring in geeks who are sex obsessed or curious about how women from the sex industry can play DnD. Well big surprise, they are underneath all that facade just people! Congratulations for showing that they are just as boring as the rest of us and more emotionally retarded.

Appropriate quote for the moment:

"I'm gonna go hit the juice bar. You probably wouldn't like it, it's not about living out childhood abuse through degrading sexual encounters, it's more about juice."

I disagree with the term 'loose morals' bit of your comment but yeah - I don't like soap opera's, and just because this one features porn stars and DnD doesn't mean it'll grab my interest.

beddo:
This seems like a pathetic way to try and get people to spend more time on the Escapist. So some women with lose morals who are effectively prostitutes, the only difference being it's filmed, play some Dungeons and Dragons.

It's completely dull and designed to bring in geeks who are sex obsessed or curious about how women from the sex industry can play DnD. Well big surprise, they are underneath all that facade just people! Congratulations for showing that they are just as boring as the rest of us and more emotionally retarded.

Appropriate quote for the moment:

"I'm gonna go hit the juice bar. You probably wouldn't like it, it's not about living out childhood abuse through degrading sexual encounters, it's more about juice."

Good job at throwing generalizations about a group buddy. Somebody did that once about another group; Atkinson.

I like how the Escapist posted something a little outside your average teenage white male's comfort zone and everyone loose their shit. Not everything needs to be a comedy or a fiction people. Sure, the production value is a bit rough so far (good God the interference), but I like the shaky handheld cam style, creates an interesting effect. But I guess it's the cinema student in me speaking.

ShadowKirby:

beddo:
This seems like a pathetic way to try and get people to spend more time on the Escapist. So some women with lose morals who are effectively prostitutes, the only difference being it's filmed, play some Dungeons and Dragons.

It's completely dull and designed to bring in geeks who are sex obsessed or curious about how women from the sex industry can play DnD. Well big surprise, they are underneath all that facade just people! Congratulations for showing that they are just as boring as the rest of us and more emotionally retarded.

Appropriate quote for the moment:

"I'm gonna go hit the juice bar. You probably wouldn't like it, it's not about living out childhood abuse through degrading sexual encounters, it's more about juice."

Good job at throwing generalizations about a group buddy. Somebody did that once about another group; Atkinson.

I like how the Escapist posted something a little outside your average teenage white male's comfort zone and everyone loose their shit. Not everything needs to be a comedy or a fiction people. Sure, the production value is a bit rough so far (good God the interference), but I like the shaky handheld cam style, creates an interesting effect. But I guess it's the cinema student in me speaking.

Well the student part had better learn the difference between the words 'loose' and 'lose'.

If your suggesting that I'm generalising geeks I did only refer to a sub-group which I categorised and I understand that it won't drag all of them in or only those people.

As for generalising about 'porn stars' I couldn't care less, I'm not going to analyse each and every one of them and their life motivations.

Atkinson can make whatever assumptions he likes about gamers but I think he cared more about the harmful effects than judging the people who play them and it's completely normal to assume someone's behaviour based on their 'creative' output.

ShadowKirby:

beddo:
This seems like a pathetic way to try and get people to spend more time on the Escapist. So some women with lose morals who are effectively prostitutes, the only difference being it's filmed, play some Dungeons and Dragons.

It's completely dull and designed to bring in geeks who are sex obsessed or curious about how women from the sex industry can play DnD. Well big surprise, they are underneath all that facade just people! Congratulations for showing that they are just as boring as the rest of us and more emotionally retarded.

Appropriate quote for the moment:

"I'm gonna go hit the juice bar. You probably wouldn't like it, it's not about living out childhood abuse through degrading sexual encounters, it's more about juice."

Good job at throwing generalizations about a group buddy. Somebody did that once about another group; Atkinson.

I like how the Escapist posted something a little outside your average teenage white male's comfort zone and everyone loose their shit. Not everything needs to be a comedy or a fiction people. Sure, the production value is a bit rough so far (good God the interference), but I like the shaky handheld cam style, creates an interesting effect. But I guess it's the cinema student in me speaking.

'White male'? What? Nice way to generalise. Ironic huh.

Hot girls, goood. Static roleplay, goood. Whats not to like?

ShadowKirby:

Good job at throwing generalizations about a group buddy. Somebody did that once about another group; Atkinson.

I like how the Escapist posted something a little outside your average teenage white male's comfort zone and everyone loose their shit. Not everything needs to be a comedy or a fiction people. Sure, the production value is a bit rough so far (good God the interference), but I like the shaky handheld cam style, creates an interesting effect. But I guess it's the cinema student in me speaking.

I agree that beddo made a mistake by making some pretty harsh generalisations about female porn actresses. I think he'd be surprised how normal some prostitutes live their lives.

However I don't think the reason people didn't like this was because it was out of their comfort zone, I'm pretty sure your averale male teenager has quite a high level of exposure to hardcore porn. I think they disliked it because it was as boring as paint.

You liked the shaky handycam style? It creates an interesting effect? Who the heck thinks a show is good based on how it's filmed? It could have been Hi-Def.I-Max.3D style and I would have found it just as boring.

Also what was the interesting effect? If I wanted interesting handycam, I'd go watch Cloverfield or Blair Witch or something...

Sasha Grey is less entertaining when she is not having things put into her.

Then out again...

then back in....

and so on...

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