Nerd alert! I haven’t mentioned it before, but I’m pretty into Dungeons & Dragons. For those poor souls who are unfamiliar, you can find a quick summary here.
While shows like Community have popularized D&D recently, my love affair with the game began in college. A group of audio geeks from AV department took me under their wing and re-introduced me to the game. I had attempted to play in elementary school, but 3rd grade Caitlin didn’t have the patience for it. As a wizened, learned 18 year-old, however, I was ready for the action.
Taken merely at face value, D&D is still extremely fun. But it also serves many other purposes…
Practice Makes Perfect
Generally speaking, each D&D game revolves around quests with an end goal in mind: finding the treasure, rescuing a friend, etc. Each player starts out with a certain level of points for each category. In order to gain points and level up, they have to role dice each time they attempt to do something. As is the case in life, whenever we try to do something – say, rescue a princess from the leader of a race of desert bandits by using our grappling hook to climb over a tall wall– we try until we get it right. In the beginning we might not throw it far enough, we might fall, etc. But the more we try, the better we get. Eventually, when we throw our grappling hook we’ll get over that wall with great ease.
Or something to do with real life. You get the idea.
Embrace Your Creativity
Anything is possible in the world of D&D. If you want to base jump off a giant unicorn while shooting lasers out your eyeballs and land gracefully on a pile of griffin feathers, all in the name of completely your quest (or not – whatever), go right ahead. D&D affords players the opportunity to use their imagination and create fantastic worlds and scenes with others. And, as we all know, creativity and imagination come in handy in all aspects of life.
Use Your Words
Aside from dice rolling, success in D&D depends a lot on listening carefully to the DM and communicating your actions clearly, two skills important to take with you in your day-to-day life.
Teamwork Is Important
Getting points is great, but there will be plenty of times when you can’t level up your character on your own. The world of D&D, like real life, is unpredictable, and you need a good support system to get through it and make it out the other side stronger and smarter than before.
Always Be Prepared
Just like you’d never face a level boss in D&D without taking every precaution, you should never go into important life situations without also preparing yourself. Whether it’s researching for a job interview, measuring a room before moving furniture in, or studying for a big test, preparation is important and not just for the Boy Scouts.