Friday, 23 March 2012

D&D&Law – 4 things D&D has taught me about Law (part 2)

2. Lawyers are amazing
D&D is fun, but some of its rules are explained with enormous difficulty. Sometimes it is just one sloppy mess that could have been done much better by, you guessed it, any lawyer. Seeing amateurs in rules (though experts in games) take on the huge undertaking of creating precise and concise rules, while remaining clear and unambiguous, shows you how difficult it really is and how amazingly well done the rules are that we usually work with. Making rules is something you should leave to lawyers, cause we are amazing.

3. Law is (not) a science
Imagine there was a study to learn every rule of D&D and how to use and apply them. Would you ever consider that, let’s call it D&Dology, a science? Would you consider someone who has a degree in D&D laws, let’s call him or her a D&Dologist, a scientist?
What I am getting at here is that we tend to think of underlying subject matter as extremely important. But this is a little unfair. The person who would have studied D&D laws would have gotten the same scientific lessons (different interpretational methods, problems like the causal link) as someone who has studied law… just using theoretical and imaginary rules instead of real ones.

This puts the whole study of law into perspective for me. It really helps to realize that though there are scientific components to studying law, they are different from the law itself. Unfortunately though, with the large focus on learning the laws and the lack of attention for the overarching science. Also, if you think that D&Dology would be completely ridiculous, try to remember that for atheists like me it already exists in the form of theology.

4. Some skills are transferable
In D&D there is a company, Wizards of the Coast, who makes the rules. In your group, the DM will interpret these rules to solve practical problems. To change the rules there is a democratic system in place to either appeal to your DM or the maker of the rules. Sound familiar?

In Law school, we learn a lot about how our society is build and how the rules function to let everything work. It is amazing to see that a lot of the problems you encounter and skills you utilize are the same no matter what body of rules you are studying (real or imaginary) and that most solutions are transferable. And it works the other way around too. Having to learn the rules from scratch in D&D has taught me valuable lessons on how to learn real laws. Maybe all students should be required to play D&D. On the one hand, I have absolutely no proof that it will improve student performance, but on the other it would be so incredibly awesome that who cares if it has no practical influence whatsoever.

Disclaimer: I might just be proposing this so that I can play D&D each week and, like with Ace Attorney, claim that I am doing homework.

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