How do we live in a world where fantasy entertainment like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings is mainstream and makes dragon sized piles of gold? This stuff used to be the realm of a few and certainly not considered mainstream. It started with Tolkien and then entered our imaginations through Dungeons & Dragons.
For me it was about 1987 and the game was Dungeons & Dragons. I was fortunate to be around family friends that sat around this table and played this strange game. There were large complex looking books, exotic brilliant colored dice, a map and some small lead figurines on the dimly lit table. Around the table sat a warrior dwarf, a noble cleric, a mischievous rogue, a brave paladin and an old wise wizard.
As a kid that grew up with a learning disability I felt that I related more to the outsider types. I naturally wanted to be around the creative people and the underdogs. We could escape together for hours on end into a complete world of fantasy.
But turns out this was in no way a waste of time. D&D required brain power and brain exercise on a constant basis. This was time well spent developing critical life and success skills. It required creativity, working as a team, learning and working within the rules. In other words, D&D is the perfect preparation for life, and it is just darn fun!
This is a personal finance blog after all, so what does this have to do with money? It turned out, quite a bit for me and millions of others. Here are several ways that playing Dungeons & Dragons can add many more gold pieces to your treasure trove!
1. Money & Intentions
D&D fantasy worlds can be a reflection of the “real world”. Just like in life, money (or gold pieces) in D&D is a tool, power and can be used to get what we want. We should all strive to be somewhat like the dragon with our pile of gold. You will need that pile of gold (or 401k) to fund your old dragon self later in life. Harness your inner dragon!
2. The Power of Imagination
Imagination is not just touchy feely stuff. We have survived and thrived as a species because we imagine. We imagine things that are not yet here, then we put the capital, energy and engineering into a way for them to become reality.
3. Professional Dungeon Master
This may sound crazy, but there are people making money as professional Dungeon Masters for role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. And who would not want to escape from reality with some friends for a few hours? I read an interesting article about this in The New York Times not long ago, this is actually a job. You would need to develop story telling skills, understand the rules of the game and keep it moving. I will be hosting as a Dungeon Master soon, but I am only doing it for free pizza and beer, hey, better than nothing!
4. Working As A Team
When you play D&D you quickly learn the value of working as a healthy team. This does not mean there are no disagreements or arguments, there certainly are and some involve swords. This means that we are stronger collectively versus individually. This is a highly coveted skill that can add to your value and net worth.
Whether your team is your family, spouse, children, friends, co workers, colleagues, etc. You are actually greater as a whole and more effective towards long and short term goals and objectives. But, this takes developing a certain level of emotional and social maturity. What is commonly called a good “EQ” Emotional Intelligence. I believe effectively playing D&D and other fantasy role playing games can improve a person’s EQ.
5. Playing Makes People Smarter
There is some pretty compelling research and studies out there that show playing Dungeons & Dragons makes kids and people more intelligent.
“Scholarly support and anecdotal evidence is compelling. Studies have shown that the highly social and collaborative nature of the popular fantasy role-playing game cultivates a range of social-emotional skills, which can lay the foundation for improved learning. In addition to these crucial soft skills, teachers and professors who have used the game also claim it directly benefits core academic competencies.”
-Paul Darvasi – reporter at KQED (NPR)
D&D involves maps, math, creativity, strategy, teamwork, art, etc. In other words, all the skills of the future!
Not Just For Nerds
Part of the whole point of our blog The Money Vikings is that there is plenty in this world for everyone. Plenty of opportunity, plenty of fun, plenty of work and resources. Yes, we want to build the future as portrayed in Star Trek because we are geeks!
So have an open mind, play some role playing games. It might be one of the smartest things you ever did and make you better with money and life.