Left-Handed in a Magical World

I’m struggling a bit with the new Harry Potter game. Specifically, I’m struggling with the spellcasting. On the old console games, I didn’t have a problem. But that was tracing each spell’s sigil with the mouse. On the phone, it’s tracing with my fingertip, and apparently little old leftie me doesn’t apply pressure in a way right-handed players do. So the phone doesn’t always acknowledge the accuracy of my spells.

It got me wondering as it was giving me grief over Alohomora for the dozenth time in the same session – Do you have to cast as they’re drawn, or as they’re drawn relevant to your dominant hand? When I started pretending to do Wingardium Leviosa after the movies started coming out, I always drew them to the left. (I still do, actually.) I translated the physical movement of the spell as swish out and up, drag down. In this game, it’s to the right. That threw me the first couple of times I had to trace it. (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was in the old console games or in Pottermore.)

And I’ve never really paid close attention to how people are casting in the movies (which is odd, because that really is something of a second nature behavior for a leftie). So, now I wonder…would casting the mirror image of the spell (as a leftie might, left to their own devices) trigger the spell, or would the leftie have to learn to do the spell to the right?

It’s also got me thinking about side dominance. I started learning ballet before I learned to write. So, while there were hints early on concerning my dominant hand (what hand I used to grab or pick up things), there really wasn’t much confirmation. (This probably also explains why my dominance is split – left hand, right foot. Hmm…) But I became used to doing everything to the right first and then the left at a very young age, because it’s literally just how I grew up. (Right now, that seems very funny to me.)

When I played Amtgard, on the rare occasion when I got to play something other than Reeve (referee), I bounced between Wizard and Scout. Wizards are only allowed to cast charms and spell balls with their left hand (off-hand so as not to impede whatever parry or shield you might choose to carry), until third level when you got access to Ambidexterity. As a leftie, I really never thought about it. It made sense to charge and throw a spellball with my dominant hand. But I knew a lot of mages who were desperate to get to third level as quickly as they could because they were losing half their spellballs regularly because they cast with the wrong hand…their dominant hand. (Actually, I think we had to charge on one side and then throw on the other…but I can’t find my years-old rulebook.)

It’s kind of funny that it’s taken me this long to even notice this, but it’s definitely something to think over…and to watch for the next time I find myself in front of one of the Harry Potter movies.

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