Yes, I’m a long time gamer, (that might make me old…not sure), and I still play video games every chance that I get. And if I could find the right group of fellow geeks, I’d start a tabletop campaign in a heartbeat!
Being a gamer, I’ve adopted some of the Gamer’s Creed into my daily life. One of them is the subject of this writing: Never Summon Anything Bigger Than Your Head.
Now, I can’t take credit for this quote as it’s a gamer adage that was birthed long ago when tabletop gaming was king. It’s rather like a “rule of thumb” for gamers who play mages and wizards who can summon…well…things.
Some of these things can be very useful items such as armor, weapons, or food. However, some things are more complicated and creepy like “pets” that are summoned by combining certain ingredients into a spell. These “pets” then supposedly follow the commands of the mage or wizard who summoned them into existence.
Sometimes the magical summoning will go smoothly for these mages and wizards; likewise, matters can, of course, go awry. Terribly awry. How? The summoned pet will often disobey or ignore the master’s orders and go charging into a room or dungeon full of very bad, ugly monsters. The summoned pet will then start whacking or casting spells like a berserker. Then, the summoned pet will run back to its master…with all of the very bad, ugly monsters trailing behind it. The mage and everyone in the vicinity are killed. That’s called a Wipe in the gaming world.
Research by seasoned and longtime gamers has shown that the only summoned things that really cause any sort of real trouble in a dungeon are the ones that are BIG. Further research and many hours of gaming further revealed that the culprits are most likely to be bigger than your head. Thus, the gamer’s adage of Never Summon Anything Bigger Than Your Head was born.
I have found that this same philosophy can be quite useful when it comes to everyday life. For instance, if you’re choosing a puppy, find out how big that sucker is going to be in two years. I’ve adopted some of the cutest furbabies ever, and then two years later I have Dogzilla living in the house. What is more, very much like gaming “pets”, Dogzilla seldom followed my orders. He would often come running out of the underbrush, tongue rolling and covered in debris, with some critter on his heels: possum, raccoon, or other nasty varmint.
Perhaps that is why I now have cats. True, they can grow to be bigger than your head, but not much! And cats aren’t afraid of anything! I’ve never had a cat explode from hiding with nasty critters following behind! My cats usually filet the critter, and I find the nasty remains. Ugly, true, but at least it didn’t come baring its teeth at me!
Here are some other gaming adages that might be useful in everyday life:
It is only high wisdom will make a good mage or wizard and grant him/her clarity and focus.
Thieves and burglars have only one really useful ‘talent’ : backstabbing.
A successful warrior must have more than strength, he or she must also have high dexterity and stamina.
Some battles you simply and absolutely cannot (yet) win. Thus, choose your battles wisely.
Life is not a game, of course; but, it sure seems like it, doesn’t it? Remember, never summon anything bigger than your head!