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Gavin Greig [userpic]

Mighty Mekon

July 10th, 2004 (08:45 pm)

In a maddened fit of ego-massaging a little while ago, I submitted myself to the terrible rigours of an IQ test. Earlier today the (somewhat delayed) results arrived, along with an invitation to join the secretive ranks of the Illuminati Mensa.

As anyone who's ever talked to a psychology student will know, IQ tests are rubbish and prove nothing, except that you can respond successfully to certain forms of question. Not only that, but you can improve your performance on IQ tests by practising, so they're not measuring any fundamental truths about your mental capacity.

However, it is nice to know that the fundamental truths about my mental capacity have been accurately measured, and it's reassuring to have independent confirmation that my ever-expanding forehead is not mere male-pattern baldness but simply a natural result of my pulsating brain pushing the skull through the hairline.

In search of a positive role-model for my continuing transmogrification, I have selected the mighty Mekon, the acme of arch-boffins.

I'm kind of glad I did pass the threshold for Mensa membership, as I can now say I'm a bit dubious of the whole process without it sounding like sour grapes. It seemed to me that too much emphasis was put on language comprehension skills - I should imagine I romped through that bit - and while I think my spatial skills are fairly good too, I was doubtful about the quality of some of the diagrams used for those questions. In the age of computers - and even though the test papers have been around for a few years, they do fall comfortably within the era of desktop publishing - is there any excuse for tests that look like they've been drawn with a shaky pencil?

From my experience of aptitude tests when applying for jobs, I was a bit surprised to find no numerical tests. As some people have a definite knack for that sort of tests (I don't think I'm too good at them personally), I wonder whether that represents a type of intelligence that isn't being fairly represented.

Will I actually join? I'm not sure, but I think I probably will - at least for a year - if only to be able to say that I could and did. Will anybody ever ask? Erm... shouldn't imagine so. Is it an ego-trip? Yes, absolutely. But probably no more so than vanity-publishing in the form of a blog.

In honour of the occasion, today's user picture finds me disporting my finest wizzarding hat, as imagineered by a friend who's intrigued by the thought of grown loonies indulging in roleplaying games. Hi Julia!


Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 11th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)

“Hi Gavin!”

Congrats on being accepted to Mensa. :)

It seems that you are coming to like the drawing of you in the "pixie hat" (how you originally referred to your "finest wizzarding hat" - which was entirely how I imagined it when I was sketching) a bit more each time the drawing is mentioned.

And is my fascination with RPG-ers that obvious? :) Really though I have a quick question. Recently I have been reading the back-story to NJ and I was wondering which character(s) did you play?

Ok that's enough creepy lurking for now.

“Bye Gavin!” – [At least this time I'm not completely drunk when saying goodbye, though my style of writing probably indicates otherwise.]


Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: July 11th, 2004 03:19 pm (UTC)

My characters in New Jerusalem were Markus Holtzberg and Malachi Stark.

The death of Markus is mentioned in "Of the Fire in the Pit" (1644). Malachi Stark, my replacement character, survived to become a Town Councillor and one of the misguided characters who attempted to restore the influence of Faerie to New Jerusalem after it had turned into the mundane German town of Helstadt. He is mentioned in the reports for 1645, 1646 and 1647, and appears in the "five years later" collaborative writing campaign set in 1653. Although we played into 1648, when the change occurred (in the real world: Pete drew the game to a close) there was no report for that year.

If you'd like to read more, one of the accounts of my life as a Dutch pirate in another of Pete's games survives. There were a few more accounts of that campaign written by myself (Kaptein, later Admiral van der Vecken) and John Macintyre (Captain Dryden), but I don't think they're currently available on the web. Hopefully it goes without saying, but my character's cheerful racism in places reflects the historical setting of the game rather than my own opinions.

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