Featured on today’s main page over at Salon, an article entitled “All I needed to know about life I learned from ‘Dungeons & Dragons'” brought about a ton of smiles at the Stylelife office. In this piece, Ethan Gilsdorf recounts the life lessons he absorbed while slaying beasts and casting spells in the game.
And that very night, longtime Stylelife coaches Evolve and The Sneak participated in long-running campaign they’ve been playing for quite some time. And it wasn’t just a bunch of dudes crowded around the gaming table. Evolve and The Sneak’s adventures always include a bevy of beautiful women, and more often than you might think, a rockstar or two.
Too many men think they have to hide their more “nerdy” hobbies from attractive women. They have to put aways the PlayStation and hide the comic books before she visits. But the truth is that, positioned effectively, these formerly nerdy hobbies can be quite attractive. Here is a classic article that Evolve wrote quite some time ago, proving that we’ve been on the D&D kick for years.
Too many men tell me, “I just don’t believe girls will think any of my passions are interesting.” But I prove differently.
My pal Aeneas and I made plans to attend one of his fraternity socials. Aeneas doubted the power of the D20 to attract women, but this party was my opportunity to show my good friend and student just how wrong he was.
First of all, for you who missed the fun and creativity of Dungeons & Dragons, a D20 is a twenty-sided die used to direct the action as you save the kingdom. I asked Aeneas if women are attracted to guys that play D&D.
”No, of course not,” he replied.
”Well, tonight they will be!” I proclaimed.
When we arrived at the fraternity house, the party hadn’t started yet. Aeneas introduced me to a few fraternity members hanging around and I started disarming them before the women arrived. Getting along with fraternity brothers at a social when you’re not supposed to even be there is a whole ‘nother lesson.
When the girls arrived, I greeted the first few who walked in the door. I needed to introduce myself and ensure they had a strong first impression of me.
I strutted up to my friend and said, “My D20 is about to become extremely cool.”
I approached a group with three very cute girls in it. They were psychology and communications students. These majors provided a perfect way to introduce my D20.
I spent a few minutes talking with them about psychology, eliciting why it was so important to them, creating commonalities, and linking communications with psychology. I performed The Cube routine on the three ladies. As usual, The Cube amazed them all.
”If you’re psych students, then guys have seen one of these before, right?” I asked them as I pulled out the D20 and held it aloft as if it were a precious stone. None of them knew what it was.
”It’s a die for playing an old psychology game. You’re all psych student and don’t know what it is?!? I can’t even talk to you anymore.” I turned away from them – executing a perfect takeaway.
One of the girls, a cute blonde, grabbed my arm and begged to know the name of the game.
”Dungeons & Dragons!” I answered. “I can’t believe you guys have never played it before. It’s a great psychoanalysis tool.”
I explained that D&D is, in fact, a great tool for understanding psychology and building a healthy imagination. I got them to agree with me at every point in the conversation by weaving pieces of their psych-student-reality in with mine.
”Can I see it?” A tall brunette asked.
”No. I’ll only let you hold it if you stand around, worshipping the die, for a photo. I mean, this talisman changes lives after all! You have to show it the proper respect.”
The girls laughed and moved around me to get into the photo.
The flash went off, and I smiled, knowing that I’d just participated in the finest Kodak moment in all of D&D nerd history.
”Wow, you girls are nerds!” I laughed. “You just took a photo worshiping a Dungeons & Dragons dice! I thought sorority girls were supposed to define cool. I guess that makes D&D cool or else you girls are all nerds!” Everyone laughed and shared kino contact.
”Ha-ha I guess it is cool then,” the girl with a killer smile said as she touched my arm.
I executed another flawless takeaway by telling them I had to find my friends. “I’ll catch you cool nerds later. Maybe we can get some graph paper and map out our dungeon adventure!”
Aeneas quickly cornered me. ”Evolve, those hotties were fawning over a D20. What the fuck is going on?”
“It’s actually very simple,” I explained. “Anything can become cool if you believe it and have a frame strong enough to convince others. I treated the die like an exotic diamond, I tied it into things that interest them, and my personality was fun and persuasive enough to convince them it was cool.”
So, inspired by my D20 outing, I thought I would jot down a few of my ideas on what it means to be cool. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Email me opinions, thoughts, and ideas. After all, we’re in the same academy now. Stylelife Academy study group, anyone?
Cool is the result of what high social value people show the world.
I had the highest value in the D20 story because I made myself appear more knowledgeable on communications and psychology, the subjects the girls studied in college. For about a year, I worked in a genetics and behavioral psychology lab at Yale University.
I leveraged that experience to fuel my DHV. Even though I don’t know much about the communications program, I could deduce how it was important to the girls and connect it to psychology, a realm where I am much more comfortable.
So the first key is to establish yourself as a high value person and then connect their concept of high value to your topic.
I made myself appear more knowledgeable by showing the girls how communications and psychology were very similar and how one could not exist without the other. I offered them a different perspective that drew them closer together as a group and allowed me to become the new authority for that part of their reality. I sealed the deal with a demonstration “The Cube” because showing is always more powerful than telling.
So the second key is to be a playful, sexual, cool guy. Enjoy yourself and don’t apologize for your interests.
I then showed them the D20 and acted as if they should know what it was. When they didn’t, I threw in some pebbles to make them want to know, essentially executing a push-pull. I then made them jump through a hoop by getting the group photo with the D20. Then I gave them a double blind: I mentioned that either the D20 was cool or they were nerds. So unless they wanted to admit that they were, in fact, nerds (which would have been fine as well) there was no other option than to accept the D20 as cool.
Another key is to keep your mind open and adaptable.
Cool is a relative term. What’s cool to one group may not be cool to the next. Listen for the values each group presents when you’re building rapport, notice how they dress, listen to how they speak, and observe what their body language communicates. These observations are all calibration techniques.