20 December

The Character Game

“The Mythical Character Game”. It’s great for dinner parties of all kinds, even professional ones. It helps people get to know each other, and is a humorous ongoing thread between dear friends. The idea of the game is to identify the character from myth, fiction, or fantasy which captures the essence of each person. It’s a collaborative game, in which everyone at the table focuses collaboratively on one person at once.

“I think you’re Athena, because you’re a fearless, graceful warrior.”

“But you forget the part where I am always collapsing and talking about love, like Lilu in The Fifth Element.”

“No, no, I disagree with you guys. I think she’s a dragon. Fierce, loyal, but no idea of her power. She wakes up in the morning, has a stretch, opens her eyes, and wonders why everything is on fire.”

“I can’t be a dragon. Dragons are solitary. I hate being alone.”

“That’s not true. Dragons like to snuggle.”

“Really? Which dragons? Maybe we need a specific dragon.”

“I think she’s a Vulcan, from Star Trek. Always focused and intellectual, no patience with small talk.”

“A half-human Vulcan, fighting her emotions. Everyone is confused when she needs affection or falls apart… Yeah, I think Lilu is closer than the dragon.”

This game is fun, and very useful. I use it to warn people about Lilu’s vulnerabilities before they have a chance to develop a relationship to Athena which doesn’t work for me.

You can play by yourself. It’s a bit lighter than working with Carl Jung’s or Joseph Campbell’s archetypes. You can play versions of the game to identify your higher self (at your best), your lower self (at your worst), and your aspirational self. Do you want to be a princess or a priestess? Sam Spade or Luke Skywalker?

Your character, once you and your friends figure it out, may help you think of your weaknesses with more compassion and humor. It may enable you to talk about your strengths and aspirations more openly. It may help you identify or focus your vocation.

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