A very wonderful lady by the name of Monique posted today that her blog had achieved 7,000 readers. She started two months ago so she has done very very well.
Her blog is here
Wander over and have a look.
If you want to know more about the neurodiverse, Google is handy.
I posted my best wishes to her and she replied with an interesting comment. She said “I often think that if it wasn't for my LRP friends, who let me discover my potential, I'd still be going from one dead-end job to another. Probably never realising I could do more”.
When she says LRP she means Live Role Players. It’s just like playing round a table but you do it in the woods instead. OK that didn't sound right, Google it if you don’t know what it is.
It’s called Live Action Role Playing these days, LARP. Back in my day it was LRP, which was called LURP because its easier to say than Ele Arr Pee, now days it’s called LARP because people don’t seem to like going out Lurping.
What she means is that some years ago when she was a mere child she meet a bunch of oddballs who liked running around in costume and hitting each other. She was welcomed and jumped in with both feet and like many since then has found friendship and acceptance among the RPGamers.
The people that Monique talks about have interesting and unusual ways of looking at life, just like many gamers. Both groups of people tend to be marginalised though these days gamers are seen as odd rather than the devil worshippers of earlier times. But as Monique says, the neurodiverse are not understood even today. They are different and all too often different is not acceptable.
What she does is try to bring understanding of people who are different to those who do not understand difference.
But I was thinking that there are many similarities between what Monique is talking about and what co-operative gamers do, that is bring together diverse groups of people and make teams out of them.
I’m talking here of co-operative gamers, role players and team gamers. Not the competitive Muppets who will kill each other to increase their own score, like the clowns who were insulting me today in World of Tanks because my game stats are low. Then after I killed four of them they were saying kills didn’t matter and I was still crap. Competitive gamers, giving other gamers a bad name since the very first game was invented.
No I mean gamers who will work together to overcome any difficult in the game and in the real world.
It doesn’t matter if one player cannot write their own character sheet, or someone who could barely roll their own dice, the rest of the group join in and help. It doesn’t matter that the half orc barbarian who can bench press half a ton is being played by the weakest or smallest person in the room.
Because what is needed is imagination, a willingness to become part of the team, to contribute whatever they can, to support everyone else and to work together to kill that damn dragon at the back of the dungeon.
I don’t often get to hire my own staff. Oddly I tend to choose people who are somewhat like me and managers often want people who are not like me because they don’t want any more trouble. But when I am I hiring given roughly equal candidates a cooperative gamer will most likely be picked.
Why? Because I value creativity and imagination and the ability to think and puzzle solve and work with a team to overcome adversity. I don’t look to hire cubicle drones because I don’t want mindless button pushers. I want people who can sit around a table and working out how to complete an adventure or sit round a table and plan how to implement a business change.
Rather than embarrass people I sometimes keep a few gaming books on a shelf above my desk, those who know what they are can talk and those who are not don’t have to sit there trying to come up with an answer because I asked them what games they play.
Me. So what hobbies do you have?
Me. Do you play for a team then?
Them. No mate, I’m a Liverpool/Arsenal/Wombles fan.
Me. So what hobbies do you have?
Them. I love football, mate, I just said.
Me. Yes but are there any hobbies that you do.
Them. I love football.
Aside from the fact that anyone who calls me ‘Mate’ in an interview is going be very unlikely to get the job watching a bunch of overpaid play acting prima donnas chase a ball around a field and pretend injury from time to time is nothing to boast about.
The important point is to bring together people, to support the strengths and to cover the weaknesses, to make the whole more than just the sum of its parts. This requires people who are a diverse bunch in the first place. If your entire team thinks the same way then all you are going to get are the same questions and the same answers. On the other hand if your team of five people has eight different ways of defending that village from an undead attack then they are likely to have eight different ways of solving that work problem.
As the Vulcans say, Infinite Diversity brings Infinite Combination and you would be hard pushed to find a more diverse bunch than Gamers or the Neurodiverse.
So if you are looking to hire someone with imagination, a team player, full of ideas, off the shelf thinking and who can bring some diversity to your staff. Don’t go for that one that watches football.
Hire a Gamer.