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Escaping modern life through a song

A charming ode to Dungeons & Dragons, the role-playing game, surfaces from YouTube's guitar-strumming crowd.


Fruzsina Eördögh


Posted on Aug 10, 2011   Updated on Jun 3, 2021, 3:28 am CDT

The Internet is full of cute crooning guitar/ukulele girls, but before you dismiss the latest YouTuber for her choice of instrument and poor lighting, consider Allie Goertz’s subject matter: escapism.

“It’s about the place or thing we do to get away from the everyday,” says Allie Goertz into the camera, as an introduction to her original song, “Tonight.”

In “Tonight,” a song about the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, Goertz begins with “You’ve had enough of your 9 to 5, so you grab your stuff and start to drive … “

Uploaded on August 3, “Tonight” has just over 50,000 views, but has already been featured on Topless Robot, Kotaku, and Reddit.  “Tonight” has all the makings of a viral video —  a cute girl with talent singing about geeky subject matter—while providing wistful commentary on the demands of our modern society.  

In an email exchange with the Daily Dot, Goertz explained the inspiration behind “Tonight” was the chapter “Prelude to Ulvaak” in Patton Oswalt’s book “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.” Goertz is an avid D&Der herself, writing “I’ve played a few but usually go back to a Paladin in his mid 50’s named ‘Amethyst.’ My character is teased mercilessly for having such a feminine name.”

The response to Goertz’s song “Tonight” has been atypically thoughtful. In a YouTube comment, thehippieshaffer wrote, “This is beautiful and captures why I love RPGs so much. Dungeons & Dragons helped me through some very tough times in life. In game I was transported to a place where I could be anything I wanted to be. D&D was an integral part of my evolution and I am grateful. Nerds FTW.”

Feedback like thehippieshaffer’s touched Goertz, she said: “Comments mentioning nostalgia or personal growth through D&D have made me feel like I did something right.”

“I think escapism is necessary to tolerate the monotony that is every day. Escapism comes in more forms than RPG’s (role-playing games) but I believe RPGs take you further than say, a movie or book, because you become immersed in a world you have more control over than your own. Dungeons and Dragons provides you the opportunity to be a different person entirely when you don’t like the stats you were given at birth.”

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*First Published: Aug 10, 2011, 3:08 pm CDT