So today I’m going to reveal my really geeky self and talk about D&D (Dungeons & Dragons). Why do I actually want to talk about this particular subject? I go to conventions every once in awhile that are specifically for role playing and board gaming and all of that sort of thing. And I find that when I go to these sorts of things, they actually inspire me to get better at what I do (voice acting). And not only that, but they kind of inspire me to be a better person in general. It’s strange how that works, I know, but stick with me here.
So when I play a game with other people, it’s a collaborative event. It’s something that we all have to work together to solve. There are problems that we need to overcome. There’s always some kind of conflict, which makes sense. And that’s life, isn’t it? So when we’re playing together, we have to collaboratively come up with solutions and coming up with solutions takes brain power. It takes working with other people. It takes thinking – it takes empathy as well. So when I play these games it helps me think through problems, without having all that much in the way of consequences. I mean these are characters you’re playing, so it’s not a life or death situation. You can kind of experiment with problem solving in a way that really doesn’t have any consequences. Kind of cool. It also helps me take on different personas and for what I do in voice acting, that’s really helpful too in a kind of improv sort of way.
I’m not all that great in accents, honestly. So a lot of other people do that while I’m not. But it’s still a really useful exercise. And as I said, it brings me to conventions and conventions are ways to socialize with people. It gets me out there talking with people who share my obsessions, who share my particular blend of geekery. And it brings together a bunch of people who are sympathetic to one another. It’s a very rewarding experience.
I go to voiceover conventions for that reason and thoroughly enjoy them. I go to business conventions for that reason – to meet people in person so that you can actually get to know someone in a better way than you would be able to through social media. We’re all on social media, yes. That’s kind of a GoTo for a lot of people. But it really gives you a nice connection when you meet people in person – when you can actually hear their voice, you can see the expressions on their faces while they’re speaking. You can understand where they’re coming from. So you get the real nitty gritty of a person where you only really see the highlight reels in social media.
So I bring up D&D because I think in general a lot of us could use a little more creativity in our lives. Now I know if you’re doing a nine to five, it’s really hard to do anything else. You come home exhausted, you take care of your responsibilities and you watch some Netflix. I get it. Sometimes there’s just a lot to do and it’s really overwhelming, but if you do something creative like draw paint, make music, write a story – and I know a lot of game masters who run roleplaying games and just love to build worlds and write plots for their games, which is certainly creative writing – it might just give you the outlet you need to stay sane and to continue growing.
Who knows? You might even find a side hustle from your creativity that won’t ONLY keep you sane but actually make you some money. I know folks who paint and make music or create gorgeous jewelry on the side. I haven’t written a song in a really long time, but I contributed to a talented friends music album as a backup singer just recently (and I’ll probably mentioned that in a future blog) and I had a blast doing it. I still sing karaoke online and at various voice conventions when the opportunity presents itself. I love singing and I always have. Being creative helps me to keep my mind open to possibilities.
And there’s a lot to be said for creative problem solving, which is what D&D teaches people to do. All that to say, don’t apologize for your own brand of creativity, or geekery, whatever that happens to be. Keep your mind open and you never know what the future holds.
Because this is such a beautiful story and truly captures the creative spirit of the game, please take a moment to read this Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/AntnHz/status/1165011404086284289
And here’s a TedxTalk that speaks more about how the creative spirit of D&D just makes better team members, along with some more about the game itself. You might find it interesting. As you can see, the applications are endless.
Thanks for reading and keep looking for those silver linings. Until next time.