Zero Thumbs Up for Zero Charisma

Zero Charisma, a Tale of Two Gamers

I had high hopes for this movie. What’s not to like: long-time game master nerd meets uber-hip gamer geek. Game master invites geek to come play. Game group rules and loyalties are challenged (beer, anyone?). Hilarity should ensue.

But it never does.

Scott the protagonist truly has zero charisma, zero people skills, zero social life. He was raised by his grandmother because his mother left him. His job is going nowhere. The only things he can control are his game group and the volume of his music.

Miles, his nemesis, is a funny, but self-absorbed dilettante who treats Scott’s painstakingly crafted rules more like game suggestions.

Scott’s identity is fused to the character he creates for his game. Miles can assume a character for a game while bragging about his popular website, his Hollywood connections, and his hot girlfriend.

Scott finds his control slipping as his group falls under Miles’s spell.

 A Tale of Two Games

Scott and Miles have been painted with broad strokes for this movie, but their differences are representative of what the gaming world has been going through for years. It’s the tale of the hard-core table-top gamer vs. the new digital gamer. Minis, dice, and manuals vs. hand-held controllers, smart phones, and tablets. Investing years nurturing a character vs. creating one on the fly.

Can we all just get along?

Must one type of game or gamer cancel out the other? Why can’t they both just get along? Miles seems at ease and content to dabble in Scott’s game world, but Scott and his friends are lost and uncomfortable in Miles’s milieu. Inevitably Scott and Miles must duke it out.

Perhaps both versions can live together amicably. But not in this movie world. Scott seems contrite and even apologetic to the one gamer friend he has left, but has he really changed that much?

Apparently not, as we find the “new” Scott playing his old game with his grandmother’s nursing home companions; while we can only assume Miles is out partying and getting the hot chicks.