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On Throwing Out the Rules and Making Stuff Up

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - Comments Off

Magic: The GatheringThe Expressive Intelligence Studio blog has a new post up about the roleplaying card game Magic: The Gathering, which made me feel nostalgic in an odd sort of way. Because while I did enjoy the game in its heyday, I had a very different experience with it because I never actually bothered to learn the rules of the game. I was inspired by the art on the cards and bored by the scoring system, and so instead came up with a new set of rules entirely (which I don’t remember at all now). I taught them to my friends and we played informal tournaments with each other at home, at school, wherever.

Like pretty much everyone ever, I have a certain fascination with my childhood, largely in part because I had no qualms whatsoever about turning up my nose at the so-called rules and inventing my own. No matter how silly or irrational they may have seemed. And because of this fearlessness (or, if you like, naivet?), the artifacts of my childhood consist of horribly-drawn comics, short stories plagiarized from my favorite novels, and scripts for movies I planned to make, camera be damned. I even convinced some of my friends to participate in an original musical about gang warfare, which wasn’t a fraction as hilarious to me then as it is to me now. Sure, I might not have had the necessary knowledge to write about such a subject, being a preteen girl from the suburbs of New Jersey. Sure, I might not have been the best candidate to compose the original score, not being able to actually play any musical instruments. But who cared? I was going to write as much of the musical as I could, and rehearse with my friends as much as I could, and have a blast doing it.

While I am thrilled beyond compare that I can (fairly) confidently say that I’m a better writer now than I was at 10 or 12, and that my ideas now actually come to fruition, I feel like there’s something I’ve lost. Read more »

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