Saturday, 26 December 2015

Dinosaur Top Trumps

Dinosaur Top Trumps really does exist, so naturally it was one of the things that arrived in LittleBear's stocking this Christmas*. The features that are classified in this particular version of the game are:

Killer rating

Our first few runs of the game involved sorting the cards into piles of carnivores and herbivores and then assigning all the herbivores to muggins here, and the carnivores to LittleBear. Because herbivores are just not cool. Except the really, really big ones. And LittleBear got those ones too. Then we each took it in turns to read out all the features of our current dinosaur, thus allowing LittleBear to select which category he would win in. After playing in this manner for a while, LittleBear had memorised enough details about all the dinosaurs that we could move on to a more sophisticated game. This version allowed us each to announce the name of our dinosaur, and LittleBear would have a good idea of which category to select to be able to win. He won.

But we didn't need to limit ourselves to the game as described on the box. We tried other things too. For instance, BigBear and LittleBear arranged all the cards in order from least intelligent (Stegosaurus, Intelligence 1/10) up to most intelligent (Stenonychosaurus, Intelligence 10/10). Somewhat rashly, I inquired where LittleBear might think I lay on the dinosaur intellect spectrum... It turns out I rate somewhere between Iguanadon (6/10) and Suchomimus (7/10). So that's a 6.5/10 for me on the D-IQ scale. I was a little disappointed, I have to admit.

The D-IQ scale

Then we asked LittleBear where he would place himself and his Daddy on this scale. That was a revelation. Not entirely positive (for Bigbear that is).

BigBear indicates his assigned location on the D-IQ scale

That's right. LittleBear assesses his father's intellectual capabilities as less than that of a Stegosaurus, scoring him at a stellar 0/10. He hides his idiocy well I have to say. It made me feel a lot better about being ranked only slightly more intelligent than an Iguanadon.

LittleBear's assessment of his own brilliance was, however, well, brilliant.

LittleBear declares his own brilliance

LittleBear did indeed declare himself off the scale in D-IQ terms. Somewhere beyond a couple of penguins who'd accidentally wandered onto the field of play. At a conservative estimate he appeared to rank himself as a solid 14/10. I'm not sure whether this is the point at which I start worrying about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or just shrug my shoulders and say "hmph, 4-year olds".

Out of curiosity, feeling I had nothing left to lose, I asked where Granny-, Grandma- and Grandad-Bear would rank. GrandmaBear and GrandadBear received solid Iguanadon ratings (6/10), while GrannyBear pipped the rest of us to the post with a very creditable Gallimimus (7/10).

So there we are. Life through the lens of a four-year old. He rules the roost, his Granny is the only one who comes close to being his intellectual equal, and she's (literally) a half-wit by comparison, while his father is little better than a vegetable. I think I wish I hadn't asked.

* It turns out that, despite LittleBear's carefully considered worries about Father Christmas' ability (a) to find us when we weren't at home and (b) to find his way into a house with no chimney, it turns out he managed to get in nonetheless.

** Not actual age, I don't think the authors of the game checked with Pachycephalosaurus when his birthday was. It appears to mean how long ago they lived (in millions of years).

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