After School Dice Club : Daruma-Doll Fell Down

Episode 9

 “Daruma-san ga Koronda” (ダルマサンガコロンダ)

We are moving from just talking about table top gaming and spreading out to children’s games in general whilst also looking deeper into Midori’s dreams and what it takes to make a game.

(Also I kept calling Emmy Ellie in this review, I went over it three times to check I had changed the spelling when I figured out I was being a dumb but there might be more Ellie’s I missed. I apologise and have no idea why seconds after watching the episode I forgot the name of one of the characters…)

Again I feel like the games were used really well in this episode.

At first it kind of felt like it would be one of those episodes where we just play random games and have some fun but the first game which was just picked at random to have a moment with Emmy, Elfenland a game where you travel a fantasy land which you can find out more about HERE, lead into something much bigger and more important.

Remember when we first met Emmy?

It was when Midori was telling everyone how she WAS going to be a Game Author right? Well it turns out that this is Emmy’s dream too. One that she held with a friend back in Germany.

A simple game of Elfenland lead to such a emotional moment and a giant learning curve for Midori.

Which makes me wonder if Miki really ever needed to be what felt like the main character. Midori’s story has been much more interesting and detailed and every time they reach back to it and add more to it she just becomes a much more interesting person.

Her fear of rejection is such a good story that is being told in such a good way.

She might not see it as such but she didn’t want to tell people about her game because she was scared they wouldn’t like it, learning that her friends had better ideas made her determined to work on her game but it took a lot for her to open up to them. In this episode we see that finding out that Emmy wants the same thing terrifies her because what if Emmy’s game is just going to be better because she’s German and more used to board games and table top gaming anyway?

It all goes back to what blondey told her though. Just someone might have wanted to point it out in a better way.

The second half of the episode gave us a child’s game. In Japan it is called Daruma-Doll Fell Down but here in England it is called Red Light/Green Light. It is one of those kids games that are designed to just be something to do for a prolonged period, usually during break times where the beginning and end of the game are determined not by someone winning or any true set of rules but by the length of the break you have or how long it takes for people to get bored.

So when older kids play it where is the fun it in?

Emmy used this game to teach Midori a lesson and hope for her to open up about being a game designer. By taking a simple game played world wide for centuries and adding rules like whoever tags the Oni getting a point, the Oni getting a point if they can tag the player back, adding rounds and just simple changes like that makes it much more fun for people who want to play a game like that without the limits of a break time to play it in mindlessly.

Lesson being games need to constantly evolve.

Many games that have lasted for centuries came from other games that people enjoyed and were changed up for different audiences and cultures.

This all goes back into the whole lesson Midori is still kind of learning that her game will never be perfected if she doesn’t get more eyes on it. There is only so much one human can do and whilst rules and game play might come over as interesting to the person playing it not everyone is the person playing it. Games become interesting to wide groupings of people not because one person sat there and created something on their own but because they got other people with different tastes and ideas to look at it and come back with feedback which can then be used to evolve the idea into something the original creator would never have imagined it to be.

Once more this helped Midori so much and I kind of hope the series ends with her game being played for a final time and this time it having all the little kinks ironed out and whilst it won’t be the best game in the world it being something that her and her friends created that works and people enjoy.

That would be a great ending to the series.

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