Mouthful of D: Game More; Live Longer

Justification To Buy More Miniatures Awaits Below

Hey. Hey, you? Want some really neat scientific facts that you can use to convince your significant other to let you buy more models? Tired of thinking of ways to justify your actions that are perfectly legal and don’t REQUIRE your lawyer to be present? Read this article and maybe, just maybe, I can put some metaphorical ammo in the metaphorical hobby gun. I am here to talk about community. So, get in nerds, we are going for a ride. 

Dr. D here with some really deep and complicated shit to bring up. As a real doctor that does not play one on TV; I see a lot of things that people have to deal with and watch people make a lot of poor decisions. Not only does this make their life objectively worse, but it’s terrible to watch since they just won’t make the right decisions. I am very passionate about men’s health especially since it has sadly taken a bit of a backseat in a world that is focusing on other demographics currently. Unfortunately, this has left quite a large gap in the way men perceive their own health and well being, and no one is really talking about it.  So, I did the best thing I could think of and decided to write a stupid article about it on a gaming website that probably has people who aren’t all that interested. Truly, I am inspirational. 

In my attempt to help the people of the world, I took the time to research a lot of the varied health topics that are currently plaguing humanity. Fortunately, a lot of them are things that are controllable from the comfort of your own brain and habits. Why worry about things that are WAY TOO BIG for you to do anything about when you can make the bed at home and find ways to make your actual life better.

I can hear you asking, “Why do I care about this, you stupid hack?”

Let me tell you, oddly rude, random internet stranger who would probably hate me in real life. I think playing model and board games are the key to living a longer and much more healthy life.

You ask, “How is that possible, can it make me stop thinking about donut holes when in oddly sexually tense situations?” 

It might…… but stop asking me so many damn questions and just listen for a second, ok?

To begin, It has been proven over and over that humans are social creatures. You may doubt it based on certain people’s behavior, but we can not live without each other. It’s been proven! ^1 The quality of your life is directly linked to the relationships that you have during your life. You may think you are immune to this cynical matter of fact, but it takes an exceptionally rare individual to be able to take social isolation for long periods without having their brain melt. For example, no matter how much you may have hated going through something like high school, the one thing that people will always be able to remember and miss are the friends you had while you were there. Even if you were unpopular, you can very easily imagine in your mind the friends you did have.  It’s my personal opinion that people who pine for the “good ole days” are actually missing the friends they used to have before “life” took it away from them.

The reason you miss your friends so much is due to a very simple reason.  High school kinda sucks major butt! This is the exact reason that boot camp for the military is designed the way it is. The military creates an environment that sucks so badly that it forces people to unite against a common foe. This creates a bond between humans that is very difficult to recreate. Humans are social creatures that need that connection to survive. Veterans that return to normal life VERY VERY VERY commonly say that they feel a lack of purpose and community that they found in the military, and it usually provides a slip and slide to depression. That “community” they are talking about is literally the key to living a very happy life and longer life. 

This is part of something called The Status Game ^2, which is explained very well in this book ^2 and that book.^3

TLDR: Your brain has exceptional difficulty with being happy if you do not have purpose. Purpose is found very easily when it comes to helping a group of people, or what you could call a “tribe.” Human’s survived the dark times because we are social creatures, and the ability to trust people in our tribe allowed our brain to relax since it didn’t need to pay attention to EVERYTHING at once. If someone is watching out back, our body’s stress hormone, Cortisol, can stay at normal levels. The other members of the tribe are another set of eyes that help keep everyone safe. The status within the tribe provides a purpose that has proven time and time again to increase the things in our brain that make depression a distant memory. Think about how good you feel when another person in your gaming group asks for your opinion about how to build a list or what cards they need for their deck. That feeling you get is the equivalent of a hit of heroin. Just make sure you don’t let the police see you feeling like that or they will put you away for possession of helpfulness. You may not be consciously aware of this, but your brain is constantly tracking where you are in the world to keep you alive. 

Search your feelings, you know it to be true!

“What does this have to do with making pew pew noises with my toy soldiers?”

Let me tell you, disembodied voice. It has literally everything to do with that. The people at your local game store that you meet up with on Thursday night after a hard day of work? That is a grouping of people that share the same kinds of interests with you. Generally speaking, when you start doing nerd stuff with someone, are you worried about who that person voted for, or what sports team they voted for, or what kind of diarrhea they voted for? No, you have a linked interest that allows you to have something in common. This is the definition of community.

See, I told you! The loss of community is what will drive people to constantly perceive the stress of being forever alone. 

Now, time for some good news.  Being a nerd who plays with little toys puts you in a unique position. Nerds have always had a tendency to want to play together since the games we play force people together. I admit I haven’t met a weirdo that played an entire game of Twilight Imperium by themselves.

Do you have any idea how valuable a supportive group of nerd friends can be? ^4

Do you know how many people can’t get this type of friend group? ^4

Spending time with people of similar interests and really becoming good friends with them is essentially a hyper-volt battery to the nuts when it comes to extending the length of your life and the quality of each second you have in it. Now, you may be thinking that you have enough friends to get you through your life, I hate to tell you, but science isn’t on your side.^ 5 Males especially lose friends as they age since we tend to be terrible at maintaining relationships since we aren’t allowed to be open or sensitive to things that bother us emotionally. Add in the fact that most guys don’t have hobbies since we are only allowed to work, pay taxes, and then die. Martha Stewart would show this as a perfect recipe for a FUCKING DISASTER. The people reading this article are lucky that we already have established things like the games we play that can FORCE us together. Some of the people I consider the closest to me are people that I met at nerd conventions and miniature gaming tournaments, and I keep in touch with them throughout the entire year. When we meet up at a big con or tournament, it’s like we didn’t skip a beat.

So, I threw some science and psychology at you. What is the point of this article? One, to justify the fact that what you are doing when you go to your local game store is actually much more helpful to you then you could even possibly imagine. Two, spending money on this stuff is ultimately actually for your own health if you actually make healthy relationships. The community part of the hobby is helpful for a variety of reasons, but I bet dropping your chances of heart disease in half wasn’t one of them. The feeling of inclusion in a tribe of friends literally makes your body less stressed due to the ability to trust other humans. This isn’t mentioning the myriad of other opportunities that come with a fine-tuned social network. 

The thing I have learned while working with people who can’t make good decisions is this. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself and stop yourself from suffering the consequences, your body is going to MAKE time. The best way to deal with a problem is to prevent it from even being a problem in the first place, but time runs through your fingers like sand. The only thing I can suggest is that you make the time to escape your life and play stupid games with other nerds who generally care about you. How many times has your doctor told you to do that?

While I was thinking about my old friends, something really deep hit in the smooth thing I call a brain. It was so profound that it even changed the way I thought about life. When people my age (30) were kids, we used to go outside and ride bikes and walk around our neighborhoods looking for trouble. We would play video games on the original Playstation and take turns when we died in whatever game we were playing. We would play Pokemon and Yugioh before the games turned into whatever competitive thing that exists now. We didn’t think of it then, but on one of those occasions, it was the last time we would ever sit around and just have fun for fun’s sake and we didn’t even know it. Take the time to enjoy your hobby and become friends, real friends, with the people that enjoy the hobby with you.  

Your future self will appreciate it.  



[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]

Dr. D

Dylan “Dr. D” Dyer is a Chiropractor by day, and an over-caffeinated miniature painting nerd by night. When he isn’t manically painting models in such a way that he never manages to finish painting an entire army, he can be found playing with his dogs, reading comic books, or helping with the few podcasts that find keeping him around useful. He runs the painting department of Fury’s Finest and writes painting guides for The Professional Casual Network. Sometimes he even manages to stumble onto their stream for games of MCP, where he makes generally terrible jokes and bad tactical decisions. The only known way to stop him from talking your ear off about stuff you couldn’t care about is to put food in front of him.

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