Storytelling plays a big part of what I love about marketing. You need to be able to tell a story in order to draw people in and help them feel a connection to a product or service. When done well, it can work wonders.
The way that best helps me enhance my own storytelling abilities are boardgames, particularly those that use your imagination to help a story or game progress. And if it’s working cooperatively – even better!
If you saw my games wardrobe (note wardrobe not cupboard) you may wonder where I find the time to play them all. Standard boardgames, like Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble, may be scattered in there, but definitely not played as often as games like Ravenloft, Catan, Machi Koro and Tsuro. And don’t get me started on Magic The Gathering (separate blog post to come). So introducing Dungeons and Dragons to my gaming collection was no big step from what I’ve previously played and enjoyed.
The start of a journey
Since this can’t be played solo, finding a group was perhaps the biggest challenge. I’m not a school kid with ample time in the Summer to kill but I managed to find two groups happy to start playing. One fell through but still has potential to get going as we’ve never (yet) found a time when we’re all available, but a work friend needed an additional player and I was more than happy to jump in. And so was born my first proper DnD experience!
Now, as an introvert, putting myself in a social situation where I only knew one person in the group was a huge step. Like going across a tightrope with no security harness. This would give me the shivers any other day but as this was my big chance to finally dabble in the ultimate storytelling game of history – a game so many games are based off – I just had to rip off that plaster tout-de-suite. My partner wasn’t even joining so I was out on my own on this one.
The group had already played one campaign so I was coming in late with a character I had only just built and knew very little about backstory-wise, how it would fit in with the other characters and more to the point which dice to roll and when (there are 6 of them). It’s a good thing the group were all very forgiving and helped me along the way – also another player was just starting out as well so I wasn’t alone. We’ve since had 4 meetups, quite the journey, more than a few close calls, and more importantly a great laugh at the situations we’ve put our characters through – all in the imagination.
So why has this deserved its own post?
It’s proving that even as an introvert, its important to sometimes step outside (even literally outside) and say yes, even though it may push you far past your comfortable happy place. Something may surprise you along the way and especially as it’s going outside the box or your norm, it can benefit other aspects of your life.
DnD helps you think through problems not only logically but also laterally and creatively. You can’t go straight through or around the tribe? But how strong are our infiltration abilities? Can we create a distraction? Are there any tunnels we could make the most of? The answers is at the roll of the dice.
DnD isn’t just for the teen boys out there. It’s a great way to make friends with similar interests – and enhance your storytelling abilities and skills. Win-win all round I say.
Check out this hilarious podcast The Adventure Zone if you want to experience Dungeons and Dragons from an audience perspective – and you’ll see why it’s an exciting tool to have in your marketing mix – even if it’s just as an influencing/upskilling tool for your content writing.