The Difference Between Girls and Boys

Linda Silverman's picture

In 1979, Miriam Darnell created Druidawn, a fantasy role-playing game, designed to motivate students to write creatively.  Druidawn teachers work online with small groups of 7- to 14-year-olds all over the world. These writing clubs help improve social skills, teamwork, and problem solving skills. Talented young writers have the opportunity to publish their work in Druidawn anthologies. Reluctant writers are encouraged to embrace the writing process with joy rather than anger or fear.  

 
January 2016, Miriam posted this description of how two groups approached the same scenario she posed for them.
 
The difference between girls and boys can clearly be seen in the way they play the Druidawn game!  This is a true story that happened in two groups I had on the same day.
 
BOYS’ GROUP:
 
Teacher:  You enter a room in Kulaan’s crazy castle that looks like a cozy living room.  There is a couch, two over-stuffed armchairs, a coffee table with bowls of sweets on top, and a lovely roaring fire in a stone fireplace.  The door behind you that you just came through disappears as if it was never there.  The other door out of the room is magically locked. What do you do to get out of the room?
Boy 1:  I go to the door and try to open it.
Teacher:  It shocks you with magical electricity and your hand takes damage.
Boy 2:  I take out my dagger and try to pick the lock.
Teacher:  The magical electricity travels up your dagger and shocks your hand.  You take damage.
Boy 3:  I try to chop off the door handle with my axe.
Teacher:  The magical electricity travels up your axe and shocks your hand.  You take damage.
Boy 4:  I try to smash down the door with my shoulder without touching the knob.
Teacher:  You just bounce back from the incredibly strong door and fall into one of the comfy chairs.  It’s so comfortable that you never want to leave the chair.  It puts you in a magical trance.  You want to remain there forever, wrapped up in that comfortable embrace.
Boy 1: I try to pull him out of the chair.
Teacher:  He resists.  He never wants to leave that chair!
Boy 2: I stab the chair with my sword. 
Teacher:  You make cuts in the chair, but it doesn’t release your friend.
Boy 3:  I shoot the chair with arrows.
Teacher:  The arrows pierce the chair fabric, but this doesn’t stop the chair from holding your friend.
Boy 4:  Our friend is a Fire Elemental so I burn the chair because I know it won’t hurt the Fire Elemental.
Teacher:  The chair burns to cinders and releases your friend at last.  You discover that there was a bag of treasure hidden beneath the cushion of the chair, but it’s all nothing but smoldering ash now. The treasure is destroyed.
Boy 1:  I go back to the door and demand that it open for us!
Teacher:  It is not an intelligent door.
Boy 2:  I use my axe to try to smash a hole in the wall next to the door.
Teacher:  It smashes through the first layer of wall, only to reveal a foot-thick stone wall behind it!  Your axe would break before it got through the whole thing. 
Boys 2 and 3:  We help him smash through the wall with our axes!
Teacher:  Okay, you spend the next five turns trying to cut your way through the wall!  Your session is over for the day.
 
GIRLS’ GROUP:
 
Teacher:  You enter a room in Kulaan’s crazy castle that looks like a cozy living room.  There is a couch, two over-stuffed armchairs, a coffee table with bowls of sweets on top, and a lovely roaring fire in a stone fireplace.  The door behind you that you just came through disappears as if it was never there.  The other door out of the room is magically locked. What do you do to get out of the room?
Girl 1:  I look under the cushions of the couch and chairs for a key.
Teacher:  You find the key to the door under a couch cushion as well as a bunch of loose change, ten cryll for each of you, and some magic lint!
Girl 2:  We use the key to unlock the door.
 
End of Scene.  The girls still had their entire game session to go! LOL!
 
This kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME!