Man, this movie makes me miss the days when gamers were viewed by the general public with unease and fear. The best gaming happened then. These days, there are no cautionary tales of gaming gone awry. Instead they make fun of gamers on shows like "Jesse" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Time has stripped away the fun of doing something that your parents worry about and just left the "geek" stigma. I'll bet that 90+% of the people who have viewed this film are actually gamers themselves. I will also bet that those same people have watched this movie more than once. It's a guilty pleasure. How many times have I heard a fellow gamer say "Frelig jumps into the pit, what does Frelig find?", or have said it myself? It has added to the jargon of gamers. I've heard gamers refer to someone as having "Gone Pardu" when they are getting a bit too much into their role-playing hobbies. Though I have yet to rescue a fellow gamer off a skyscraper after he has been stabbing "Gorbils" in the subway. My Best-Friend's parents actually made him watch this movie to try to scare him away from gaming when he was a teen. They didn't actually watch the movie. They just taped it, and showed it to him and didn't stick around. Boy, his Dad was horrified with the results. Instead of turning my friend off of gaming, it turned him onto to Live Action Role-Playing. Within a few years he founded the LARP group Adventures in Mid-Land in NY. A group that still exists under new leadership a decade and a half later. How many others were inspired to LARP because of this film? If you enjoy this film you should also check out the following movies. "Shakma" is a film starring Roddy McDowell as GM who's live action game goes horribly wrong when a crazed baboon starts killing his players (Don't you hate when that happens?). When billed in channel guides it is typically listed as "A game of Dungeons & Dragons turns deadly". Uh oh, Mom and Dad, another cautionary tale. Then there is the OTHER Wendy Crewson anti-gaming film "Skullduggery". With both Mazes and Monsters and Skullduggery to her credit, you have to wonder what this lady has against us gamers. Skullduggery is so incredibly bad it deserves to be on MST3K. If you are a gamer and a fan of bad films (and what are the odds of that?) you really need to track those two films down. Quick listing of other movies that have some anti-game statement. "Cloak & Dagger", "T.A.G. the Assasination Game", "Gotcha! (1985)" and for our S.C.A. friends there is George Romero's "Knightriders". The film "The Dungeonmaster" with Richard Moll is NOT a gaming movie, despite the title. It is side-splittingly bad though. There is also the book "The Dungeon Master: The Disappearance of James Dallas Eggbert III" by William Dear. It's the true story of how the author's search for a missing college student. The author is a P.I. and focuses his search around the missing kid's D&D hobby. He ignores other aspects of trouble in the kid's life, like the kid's drug problem and instead hangs out to play D&D and get into this kid's head. In the end James Dallas Eggbert III is found in a crack house with no help from the author. The cover of the book lead people to believe yet again that D&D is bad for you, when the reality of it is that being a 16 year old genius in college with drug problems, homosexual tendencies and the name Eggbert would overwhelming for anyone, gamer or not. James Dallas Eggbert Committed suicide before the book came out. William Dear had the TV show "Matt Houston" based on him. They even had an episode play very Loosely on the Eggbert story.
If you look at all of these tales, fictitious or true, the game itself is never really to blame. In Mazes & Monsters it's Robbie's issues with guilt over a missing brother that caused his insanity, not the game itself.