… and immediately turn into a nerd vs. arsehole flamewar. At the Guardian there’s a relatively fluffy piece describing the D&D edition wars for non-gamers, in the context of the D&DNext announcement. It’s nice to see D&D getting a bit of mainstream attention, even if it is from the standpoint of an incomprehensible nerd conflict. However, within moments the comments degenerate into some arsehole telling gamers they’re a cancer on society:

This, and World of Warcraft, and everything else that attracts people who desire to actually live in Middle Earth, and wear cloaks and swords, and chase wizards and dragons around, is a social cancer. Its only purpose should be to identify such people to facilitate their incarceration in a secure unit. The average cocaine addict is a more productive and useful member of society, and much more fun down the pub. I hate the lot of them, every single one

Remarkably lucid for a comments thread of a major newspaper, but nasty despite that rare moment of English ability. The immediate response serves to put this idiot in his place though:

Looks like someone was kicked out of their guild.

Someone else offers us a list of famous D&D players:

Confirmed Players include Graham Linner, Vin Diesel, Dame Judy Dench, Mike Myers, Robin Williams, Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Ewan Mcgregor, Wil Wheaton, Stephen Colbert.

That’s a pretty cool list: imagine a gaming group consisting of Vin Diesel, Judy Dench, Robin Williams and Ewan McGregor, with Colbert as GM. That would be pretty entertaining. What characters would they play?

The author pops up in the thread, which is an awesomely rare event on Guardian “blogs,” and in addition to actually engaging with the audience, manages to explain the LARP game they’ve been running, that is surely too cool to be true:

We run a sort of bespoke, portable zombie apocalpyse with NERF guns. Basically, you get three games starting as a human survivor, and one as a zombie. The human players have to complete a pretty basic mission in order to open the doors/summon the helicopter/kill the massive super-zombie etc. Generally survival rate runs at about 10% if I’m doing my job properly.

We were running it as a day-long event at an abandoned shopping mall in Reading, but sadly we can’t get the venue for the next few months so are looking into an abandoned school and a derelict embassy building instead.

That’s cool!

I think this may be the coolest thread on a culture-related thing that I’ve ever seen at the Guardian. And yet, apparently, gamers are a cancer on society…