On The Enduring Relevance of Wizards

Oh, don’t roll your eyes. You saw Harry Potter.

Greg sent me the story he submitted to Blizzard’s creative writing contest. It A) was awesome and B) got me to thinking. What is it about wizards? Why do the children of the Geek Nation love them so? I have a theory, and it starts with a little boy named Alex.

Everyone is stimulated by intellectual activity. Everyone is stimulated by physical activity. But, when one falls to atrophy, the other increases.

As a kid, I never got into sports. I assume this is a learned trait, as I am the progeny of geeks. I spent my time doing geeky things. Video games. Computers. Reading. All this time spent in abstractions naturally led to me being pretty decent at my classes (with the glaring exceptions of phys ed and penmanship), which in turn made me the target of your standard schoolyard bullying.

Thus, physical people are bad, intellectual people are good, and there’s no such thing as being both — so said young Alex’s mind. Anyone who played a sport was separate from my kind, and they certainly didn’t want me around.

It took me a very long time to get past this mental division. “People can be smart AND jocks? Nonsense. One camp or the other.”

So, when narrative comes into play, who is an incurable young geek going to tend towards? Rough-and-tumble heroes who punch they’re way through problems (which are inevitably caused by evil geniuses)? Uh, no. Have you seen the way those guys treat the bookworms (who are only brought along to crack some code, anyway)?

Enter the wizards. People who possess the ability to interact with the physical world directly through their minds. A few mumbled phonemes from a dusty tome and BOOM — problem solved. Ancient languages. Books. Knitted brows. These are the things I could get behind.

All of a sudden mental skills outweigh physical ones. Abused kid kept under the stairs? No longer. Now he’s a wizard so powerful no one makes fun of his glasses.

But then there’s the problem of Hermione Granger. So much of an egghead that other wizards make fun of her. You don’t want to be like that, do you? Best get yourself on the quidditch green. Some air would do you good.

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