Sunday, 16 March 2008

Geek Love



After the death of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, the New York Times published this contribution by Adam Rogers.

Geeks like algorithms. We like sets of rules that guide future behavior. But people, normal people, consistently act outside rule sets. People are messy and unpredictable, until you have something like the Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. Once you’ve broken down the elements of an invented personality into numbers generated from dice, paper and pencil, you can do the same for your real self.

For us, the character sheet and the rules for adventuring in an imaginary world became a manual for how people are put together. Life could be lived as a kind of vast, always-on role-playing campaign.

Mr. Gygax’s game allowed geeks to venture out of our dungeons, blinking against the light, just in time to create the present age of electronic miracles.

But I wasn't one of those D&D-players (although perhaps I could've done with the practice it provided!), the part I liked best about this article was the accompanying diagram. Especially the bottom left, which is why I used that as a cut-out at the top of this post. Please check out the whole thing and see if it makes you giggle like it did me.

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