Monday, March 5, 2012

I Didn't Get The Strategy Genes

by Sophie


When I was in junior high school, my brother and his friends got into Dungeons and Dragons. I remember weekend afternoons where they would be bent over their....what, exactly? Figurines and maps and charts and all kinds of complicated stuff. I was not invited to participate, which made me gloomy because I had nothing else to do and felt the sting of being left out, but in truth I couldn't even begin to fathom what made this activity fun.

It was a game of strategy - I knew that much. And I knew that I *ought* to be good at it. I was always good at the mathy-sciencey part of standardized tests, and I couldn't imagine what other skills might be needed.

But I had no interest. What I did instead was to make pencil drawings of the muscular dudes with the dragon heads, holding broadaxes. I could spend hours getting them exactly right. I wish I still had some of those!

I'm simply not drawn to strategy like other people are. So many games depend on those skills - dominoes, for instance, or hangman or connect-4. I like to play these but absolutely don't care if I win or lose. Not at all! It's not that I don't like to show off - I like Pictionary (I'm a total star) and bananagrams....though whenever I get bored with my letters I just smash them all together and start over.

I don't know if this is the hallmark of a disorganized thinker, or something else. Perhaps massive gobs of creativity that are pressing on the strategic area of my brain or something.


William Doonan said...

Cool post! Though I would never admit it in polite company, I was one of those boys huddled over the gaming dice, trying to strategize my elf's next move. Then I discovered girls and never looked back. But I still think that spending time in that imaginary Dungeons & Dragons world (a lot of time) helped me imagine landscapes and scenarios, skills that definitely helped me as a writer.

William Doonan

L.G.C. Smith said...

I believe you've identified a common problem for writers: "massive gobs of creativity ... pressing on the strategic area of (the) brain." I am a fellow sufferer. :)

Juliet Blackwell said...

Ha! I'm exactly the same way. Strategy games bore me to tears, but I'll spend hours on the NYT crossword. And like Lynn says, those "massive gobs of creativity" must have muscled out the competition ;-)

Barbara said...

I just like to make stuff; be it stories or quilts & blankies or lotion & lip balm or knitted things. I don't have time for strategy or caring who wins or loses, I just want to play with words and raw materials for making things. I'm with you. I keep looking for that extra week day dedicated solely to creative endeavor.

Toni in Florida said...

I played D&D in college, but strategy was not part of it for me. I liked the improv and the worldbuilding and the interactions and the chance to explore being someone else. The strategy part? I left that to the other players and just had fun being a half-human/half-elven thief!

Adrienne Bell said...

I never played D&D, but I remember one night when a few of my friends tried to get me to play Risk. I was so bored I decided to intentionally lose after 20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Oh Adrienne. We are soulmates in so many ways. Ditto (Risk...Monopoly....anything really...)