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The International Writers Magazine

Dungeon Majesty: Say Yes to Your Majesty
Aiko Misaki

When I was a kid, long before the term ‘gaming’ became an addition to popular culture, my friends and I played one of two types of game, the ‘bored’ game or video game. In the early ‘80s Atari became a very welcome supplement to my intake of play-time activities; I spent a lot of time perfecting my maneuvers for ‘Frogger’ which made me a bit of a master myself. Recently, I made an attempt at the game ‘Black’ and was killed instantly, five times in a row. I guess my gaming career ended back in 1985 with the import of Nintendo from Japan to the USA.

As a teen I had heard about the darker corners of high school where the kids who played the role-playing game ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ (otherwise known as D&D) lurked about, but was far too intimidated by these ‘cool nerds’ to crash their role-playing party. Here’s a quick synopsis for the D&D neophyte: The players of D&D devise fictitious characters who broach upon illusory adventures of battles with monsters, the collecting of treasure, and the earning of experience points while maintaining interaction and working with each other throughout the game. D&D deviates from the conventional ‘wargaming’ in that it delegates a specific character to each player. Sound complicated? It kind of is.

Fortunately for me, I can live vicariously through the cast of Dungeon Majesty without feeling like I’ve skipped a beat or a couple of decades. Dungeon Majesty is a PBS show broadcast out of Los Angeles that attempts to bring the role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons, to life with a cast of characters who includes LaTiza (sorcerer), Mystika (human), Shakuntala (half elf), Devastina (brawny human), and of course the ubiquitous Dungeon Master in the flesh.

The creators of the show have done a meritorious job of bringing this game, which was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, to life with a resonance that can be felt by those who haven’t dared touch the game with a ten foot sword.

I was introduced to the show via a premiere at the Vine Theater in LA March 2006, which included episodes 4, 5, and 6, and have been a self-professed Dungeon Majesty addict since. Yes, a spell has been cast upon me that I can not seem to break, nor do I want to; that’s the power of Dungeon Majesty. Of course it helps that the cast of characters is totally hot; if nothing else their presence will lure you in.

Perhaps the show can best be summed up by JJ Stratford (otherwise known as Mystika), "You don’t have to be a ‘gamer’ to love Dungeon Majesty. We’re a fantasy adventure show based on Dungeons and Dragons; we each have a character and we act out our game and then we go on a quest to bring back the fame sort of. It’s kind of like George Lucas but inverted and low-budget, like if George Lucas only had $30."
Enough said…
To experience the charm of Dungeon Majesty please visit their web-site at:
© aiko misaki Feb 2007

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