‘Gamemaster’ Director Charles Mruz on Documenting the Complexities of the Board Game Industry [Interview]
Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 by Matthew Monagle
I may not remember precisely when I rediscovered board games, but I do remember the moment I knew I was hooked. In January of 2016, a friend invited me to join his much-anticipated playthrough of Twilight Imperium, a super-complicated game centering around galactic exploration and conquest. The only catch? The group was meeting three states over, requiring an hours-long drive through terrible weather – and a quick turnaround if I were to be back at work on Monday morning.
I made the drive and was eliminated in hour nine of what would become a twelve-hour game.
Over the intervening years, I’ve found that board games have become an increasingly important part of my relationships with others. They are a common thread that can pull together disparate friend groups. They are also an analog experience that helps me unplug – at least metaphorically – from my responsibilities as a full-time marketer and freelance film critic. Finally, board games serve as a perfect synthesis of my creative and analytical selves, marrying these disparate elements of my personality into one cohesive experience.
Thanks to the new documentary Gamemaster, board game fans have a film that can appreciate both the art and the economics of this billion-dollar industry. I had an opportunity to talk with director Charles Mruz before his Gen Con panel, “Making the Documentary Gamemaster,” which takes place this weekend during the conference’s online experience. In our interview, we discussed his film’s complexity and his willingness to confront some of the challenges of the board game industry head-on.