These are two life skills the hobby values and we can use in work and life. The complex and ambigouity of gaming prep challenges our Scientific Skills in trying to define the complexity and frame the problem, while the Improvisation carries with it a variety of skills that make us or what we talk about interesting.
Preparation (and Planning) is a very well defined skills in our time. The skill of preparation and planning are various skills, feats, and techniques that:
- set, clarify, and adapt goals,
- as well as break down complexity and complex tasks, arrange and adapt them to best suit goals, and order them by our resources, strengths, and opportunities.
- the discipline in negotiation has very similar preparation techniques work to clarify and enhance the goals and steps in a complex task. (MESO, and Topics, Targets, and Trade-offs come to mind)
My influences here is Professor Michael Roberto's works in Transformational Leaderships (buzz word warning), and, Professor Seth Freeman's Negotiation the Art of the Best Deal.
Improvisation is a combination of Public Speaking skills, or what the ancients would call Rhetorics
, and Creative Thinking Skills - yes there is a skill set under this.
Creativity or Creative Thinking as a Skill. These are techniques that force us and our brains to generate ideas in a rapid pace (5-10 ideas per minute) and challenge our minds to create connections with very disparate/incongruous ideas. There are several techniques under this, and it takes practice to use them. The skill also allows the person to facilitate creative thinking in others. See Professor Gerard Puccio's Creative Thinkers Toolkit in TGC.
A Great source of Public Speaking skill for Gaming is Teaching, because it has one of the most interactive elements as compared to Performance arts of Public Speaking. Public Speaking though has the most repetitive exercises and painful reflection: watching and listening to oneself perform.
Unpopularity of Humble Inquiry
Kaizen or Lifelong Learning is a general philosophy towards the things we do. its a Life Philosophy that comes with a particular disposition and temperament: that of Humble Inquiry. Sadly I've encountered a few people who are averse to it, but they are just a few loud minorities that have no statistical influence in the Gaming Community as a whole - but it bears in mind talking about it because these Loud Minority will make you believe they have all the answers.
Again we go back to basic Socratic Philosophy: I know nothing, this is Socrates Philosophy and the CORE believe if I want to perform the technique Humble Inquiry (Prof. Seth Freeman) with any consistency and sincerity.
I didnt realize how powerful this is a tool and principle that to seek it in others is the best signal of Sincere Discourse (not just someone who wants to laud their Gaming Prowess*).
If I talk to someone, do I assume they are Ignorant of the matter? Then like a mirror, is the other person painting me with his assumptions the ignorance he assigns me?
And in here lies the measure of sincere dialogue. It is the temperment of the annoying minority of Gamers to preach and act like a Know it all: talking down to people who ask.
The Need to Show of Gaming Prowess
I keep wondering why certain people feel the needs to interject their gaming prowess into conversations that have nothing to do with it. People interjecting how many years they have been gaming was a shtick many gamers, including myself, did. worse was when it had no bearing in the conversation and was more and more repeated and forced into a conversation.
I assume its insecurity that of a life that is generally unsatisfying - that the gamer is not living life and has to declare his prowess as a way to re-affirm some nagging fear about the choices he's made in his life.
The things is the moment I feel like I have to make that kind of Declarations I go and ask myself: how about my work, my family, and my other hobbies? The moment I branched out to have a real LIFE this insecurity disappeared. Its thanks to Tobie and Gman to help me figure this out.
So the next time there is a Insecurity Signal in the Conversation, maybe invite the person over to have a life: have coffee, play another hobby (running, airsoft, hiking, travel, history, etc... ), meet new people, and enjoy life. Then without being a douche pointing these out to them. Then there is simply breaking away and waiting for them to be in a better place - but does that constitute being a Fair-weather friend?
Lets have a life, so we can be better gamers.