What do I love about RPGs? ~ Good Question. After a year of paying for this blog, i figured it would be a good idea to start using it. RPGaDAY seems to be a good impetus for doing just that.
As a child I had a vivid fantasy life. Part of this was an effort on my part to create a safe & predictable place for myself during a childhood that was less than ideal. I was introduced to fantasy and science fiction at a very early age, & fell in love with those genres. Having been born in 1968 (could you guess!?!) I experienced the 70s in all of their resplendent glory , including all of the cutting edge fantastic media available at that time.
Retreating to my fantasy life & daydreams, I often imagined myself in these captivating settings. However, frequently I imagined myself as someone else. (Unless you’re in Narnia, being a 10 year old uncoordinated somewhat overweight young boy tended to be a deficit). ~ Hearing about and finally being exposed to RPGs (in this case it was 1981 B/X D&D) opened up a whole new world to me. The idea that I could be an active participant in scenarios set in these compelling worlds, that i could be someone else, that my imagination wasn’t the only one contributing to to fiction, that it would be surprising and unpredictable, all of that drew me in. So yeah, all of that is a part of what I love about RPGs.
Likewise, I’m not sure if you can relate, but frequently i have finished a book, series, movie, show, etc, & found myself imagining “what happens next?” ~ RPGs allow me to explore settings that I have come to love. Also, unlike those books or movies where you are at the mercy of the author if you want another fix, an RPG campaign can be taken off of the shelf at any time & we can play to discover what happens next.
All of these still contribute to my love of RPGs, but age brings sophistication & introspection. Over time I have come to realize that I value an experience where we become immersed in the scenarios, the characters, & the settings ~ an experience where things become “real”. Sure, I still enjoy lighthearted sessions & always laugh a lot when I play. However, something magical happens when our shared imagination produces a world and characters every bit as real as our own world and selves.
Last but not least, human connections have become more important to me as time has gone on. We develop different kinds of friendships & relationships depending upon how we know each other. As gamers ours become unusual connections. We share fictitious yet “real” experiences that few others would understand. When a player leaves a game we miss them and their character. We discuss ideas related to the games, the experiences, and about the human condition. Often the insights and conversations we have about real life surprise us. ~ These are unusual and compelling connections & friendships that i do not think I would find elsewhere.
There you have it. This list is longer than I wanted it to be, but it could have been a lot longer. ~ What do you love about RPGs?