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Do you think this counts as an extra-curricular activity?


Myrica

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I'm working on completing my autobiographical sketch. I have been regularly (once/week, on average) participating in playing and refereeing pencil-and-paper role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons since I was in high school. Should I be putting this down as one of my extra-curricular activities?

 

I spend 8 hours each week refereeing a game, plus the time put in to create and write an engaging story, draw maps, plan encounters, and coordinate my group of 5 players. I would hope this should count for something. I have boxes of content I've written over the years, plus a website for the game world I've created.

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I would not include this simply because there is a lot of stigma against spending hours playing D&D. Your call.

 

This is exactly the attitude that is making me hesitant to put this on my application. No one would condemn someone for playing 8 hours of sports every week, but something creative and cerebral like D&D is shunned. I don't get it.

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This is exactly the attitude that is making me hesitant to put this on my application. No one would condemn someone for playing 8 hours of sports every week, but something creative and cerebral like D&D is shunned. I don't get it.

 

To that end, I wish we could put down playing Starcraft 2 or any other RTS-type strategy game. I mean look at the things you learn from that:

 

1) A healthy tolerance for failure

2) Strategy/big-picture thinking as well as detail-oriented moves

3) The VALUE of research and study :P though this may be pushing it

 

I guess, though, since you do do some planning and coordination it may be looked upon as a bit more positive

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I think you should include it.

 

I actually don't know much about this stuff - so I have no negative stigma associated. I think the chances that the adcom don't know and don't have the stigma either is possibly pretty good? Especially if you explained it more in terms of what you got out of it - you'd have me thinking this was something completely legit

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I would personally be very hesitant to include something like this. Like it or not, there's a general idea of what is considered "acceptable" and what is not. As mentioned before, is there a far cry from D&D and playing Starcraft for several hours/day? What about somebody who plays quarters at the bar? Or somebody who collects model cars and paints them? I'm not saying it's fair or right that they're 'discriminated' against more-so then playing baseball on the weekend or the most ridiculous EC of all "international travel" (not meaning for volunteering either), but that seems to be the case.

 

Be honest with me here, picture what you think of when you hear "involved dungeons and dragons player". Without rationalizing, does that image convey somebody doctor-ish? To me it doesn't, in fact it has a stereotype of awkward social skills which might decrease effectiveness as a physician.

 

I think it's something that would be ideal for an "other hobbies" column, but I'd be very wary of putting it into an EC or autobiographical sketch section.

 

Exactly how much benefit do you expect from such an entry on an application in the eyes of an ADCOM, and what type of risks are you taking by including it? If you think the possible benefits outweigh the risks then by all means include it - just be aware that this is an item that (probably unfairly), does include a level of risk that you should assess beforehand.

 

Anyways that's just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

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To that end, I wish we could put down playing Starcraft 2 or any other RTS-type strategy game. I mean look at the things you learn from that:

 

1) A healthy tolerance for failure

2) Strategy/big-picture thinking as well as detail-oriented moves

3) The VALUE of research and study :P though this may be pushing it

 

I guess, though, since you do do some planning and coordination it may be looked upon as a bit more positive

 

Activity: Starcraft 2 (Diamond league), Iccup rank: A-

Description: 1a2a3a

 

If your interviewer is Korean you're basically guaranteed a spot.

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