(ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You

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Template:Infobox video game (ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You is a 2015 Twine game designed by Canadian video game designer and developer Merritt k. The game features American actor Vin Diesel providing a "quick game" of the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons to help the player feel better about themself.

Background

American actor Vin Diesel is known for playing "tough guy" characters in films.[1][2][3][4] Diesel is also a big fan of the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.[2][3][5][6] According to his Facebook page, the actor is also "something of a gentle, caring soul."[2][3]

Development

merritt k, the game's designer

Canadian video game designer and developer Merritt k designed (ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You.[7][2][3] Kopas's previous projects dealt with boundaries, consent, kinks, and self-care.[7] Boing BoingTemplate:'s Leigh Alexander stated "The intention of this particular game, [k] has said, is not irony nor to make fun of Vin Diesel—she is a genuine fan."[7]

Gameplay

(ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You involves pictures of the actor as well as text introducing the game to the player.[2][3] The autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) aspect of the game is in the gameplay rather than as audio.[7][8] The game is free, but online donations are accepted.[7][8][6]

Plot

Actor Vin Diesel introduces himself and offers to help the player feel better about themself. Diesel suggests a game and asks the player what their favorite game is. Admitting his "all-time favorite" is the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, the actor then offers the player a "quick" D&D round with himself as the Dungeon Master.

Diesel offers the player four pre-made characters: Katarin, the elven fighter, Ro the half-orc bard, Avea the human wizard, and Marr the dwarven cleric. Each character must face the same challenge of leaving their hometown and beginning an adventure. Upon leaving, they encounter a wounded man lying in the road. They may help the man or err on the side of caution.

Two stories take shape depending on how you treat the wounded man. Either way, the man in the road reveals himself to be Melkor. Helping Melkor reveals an adventure involving owlbears. Melkor says he was "set upon by a great beast." The player follows Melkor to where the owlbear lives. There the player finds that the owlbear is feeding its young. Instead of fighting the owlbear, both players have a change of heart and decide to forgo a battle. Erring on the side of caution will reveal an adventure involving bandits. Melkor says he was caught by a magic trap and robbed by bandits. The player then follows Melkor to the bandits' encampment to retrieve his stolen goods using the same ambush tactics as the thieves.

Both stories end when Vin Diesel wraps the game up as he needs to get back to work. Diesel thanks the player and reminds them to remember how they helped Melkor the next time they feel down.

Reception

In 2015, Boing BoingTemplate:'s Leigh Alexander critiqued the ASMR aspect as "a little facetious, as there are no auditory elements, no whispery chills" but "there is a pure element of gentleness and care about the project: imagining Vin Diesel as a guy who invites you to join a quick fantasy roleplay because he just wants you to feel a bit better about yourself is playful, surprising and ultimately delightful."[7] Subsequently, Alexander would mention (ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You in talks like her John Seely Brown Symposium lecture on Technology and Society at the University of Michigan School of Information where she said it was "light-hearted, brief, and actually feeling like you've made friends with Vin Diesel."[9][5] Later, she cited it as "an example of games as caregiving."[9]

VG247Template:'s Valentino Di Martino called it "relaxing."[4] Kill Screen staff reviewed the game favorably with "Action movie star Vin Diesel may be a tough guy on screen, but he’s a lovable nerd in reality, and his very favorite game is Dungeons and Dragons. The best part is, he’s willing to teach you how to play."[1] PolygonTemplate:'s Ben Kuchera said "There's no big gotcha moment, as the "joke" of the experience is in how earnest and caring Diesel seems to be and how well he handles his dungeon mastering duties. Half of me was amused at the game, and the other half was actually relaxed and comforted by the pictures of Diesel and his introduction to the game. Do yourself a favor: Make a cup of tea, take a few deep breaths, and let Vin Diesel take you away for a bit."[2][3]

Ranking third on the list "The 17 (Quick, Cheap, Easy-to-Learn) Games that Showcase (the Breadth of Potential in Digital) Gaming," Social Media CollectiveTemplate:'s Christian Sandvig stated "That title really describes it quite well, except that there is no ASMR."[8] Nerd ApprovedTemplate:'s Nicole Wakelin found it "genuinely relaxing."[6] (ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You was featured in not-for-profit Hand Eye Society's Wordplay 2015 Showcase Games.[9][10]

In 2016, PolygonTemplate:'s Nick Robinson on the podcast CoolGames Inc later called it "a game that actually makes her far more qualified to host this podcast than we are."[11]

See also

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kill Screen staff (July 3, 2015). "What you missed at the Ace Hotel this week". Kill Screen. Kill Screen Media, Inc.. https://killscreen.com/articles/what-you-missed-ace-hotel-last-night/. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kuchera, Ben (May 27, 2015). "Let Vin Diesel be your Dungeon Master in this relaxing, comforting game". Polygon (website). Vox Media. http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/27/8674087/vin-diesel-dungeons-dragons-calm. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Kuchera, Ben (May 27, 2015). "Let Vin Diesel be your Dungeon Master in this relaxing, comforting game". Yahoo! News. Yahoo!. https://www.yahoo.com/news/let-vin-diesel-dungeon-master-000002269.html. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Di Martino, Valentina (May 28, 2015). "Siete un po’ giù? Fatevi aiutare da Vin Diesel e Dungeons and Dragons" (in Italian). VG247. Videogaming247 Ltd. https://www.vg247.it/2015/05/28/siete-un-po-giu-fatevi-aiutare-da-vin-diesel-e-dungeons-and-dragons/. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite AV media
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Wakelin, Nicole (May 28, 2015). "Having Vin Diesel As Your Dungeon Master Would Be Relaxing And Comforting". Nerd Approved. Nerd Approved Media, LLC. http://nerdapproved.com/gaming/vin-diesel-dungeon-master/. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Alexander, Leigh (May 27, 2015). "Having Vin Diesel as your dungeon master is really soothing". Offworld. Boing Boing. http://boingboing.net/2015/05/27/having-vin-diesel-as-your-dung.html. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Sandvig, Christian (December 2, 2015). "17 Games that Showcase Gaming". Social Media Collective. Microsoft. https://socialmediacollective.org/2015/12/02/17-games-that-showcase-gaming/. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Alexander, Leigh (October 14, 2015). "Are any of your favorites in this awesome game curation?". Offworld. Boing Boing. http://boingboing.net/2015/10/14/are-any-of-your-favorites-in-t.html. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  10. O'Neil, Will (November 10, 2015). "WordPlay 2015 Photos and Recap". Hand Eye Society. handeyesociety.com. https://www.yahoo.com/news/let-vin-diesel-dungeon-master-000002269.html. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  11. Robinson, Nick (March 25, 2016). "CoolGames Inc: Building an Austin Powers MMO". Polygon (website). Vox Media. http://www.polygon.com/podcasts/2016/3/25/11307268/coolgames-inc-episode-8-austin-powers-mmo-merritt-kopas. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 

External links