Shopping Period is Actually a Dungeons & Dragons Game in Your Mom’s Basement

Graphic by Julia Hedges

Shopping Period is chaotic neutral. If you don’t know what that means then you live your life in a very different framework than I do, but I’ll explain. In the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, every character has a moral alignment somewhere in a three-by-three grid. Each row of the grid contains lawful-neutral-chaotic and each column contains good-neutral-evil, so each alignment is some combination of a row and column, anywhere from lawful good to chaotic evil. This spectrum succinctly captures every aspect of the entire world.

I view nearly everything in my life through this lens, so take what you will from that. The best quiz to determine your own moral alignment (I’m chaotic good) assumes that you are taking the quiz on behalf of your DnD character, which makes it all the more fun (The Elders have besmirched you. How do you react?). Please take it and let me know what you get so I know where to put you in my meticulous moral positionings of the people and things in my life. Moral alignments don’t just apply to people after all. I like to position the classes I take and the extracurriculars I do in this grid, as well. WYBC Yale Radio is chaotic good. Game Theory is lawful evil. American Architecture and Urbanism is neutral good. Close Analysis of Film was true neutral (I can’t speak to its current alignment now that JD Connor is no longer at Yale and therefore no longer teaches it). As you can imagine, I could go on.

I don’t think I need to explain the inherent chaos embedded in the era of our lives we call Shopping Period, but the first two weeks of every academic semester thrive on undermining the comforting routine that we expect from a supposedly world-class institution such as Yale University. Sure someone could argue that there is some order imposed, since pre-registration for classes exists, but to that person I say: Go to Hell History Major and Leave the Rest of Us Here to Suffer in Chaos. The neutralness of Shopping Period comes from, I think, the balance between the competing forces of good and evil every single time we shop more than four classes in one day. You probably shopped some killer seminars with interesting readings, engaging professors, and other really intelligent students these past two weeks. That’s the good side. On the evil side, you probably won’t get into any of said seminars. Therefore, this two-week period can only be described as neutral. And that brings me to my concluding point: Shopping Period is chaotic neutral, but the rest of the semester is neutral evil. Thank you and I’ll see you all at my Dungeons & Dragons game next week (I don’t play Dungeons & Dragons, but after writing this, I feel like I should start).