In my estimation, the RPG hobby is all about investigation. Curiosity leading to discovery.
Sure, the most obvious example is the investigation we or our characters conduct in the fictional game world or scenarios. What’s behind that door? Who killed Mr Smythe? What does the leader of the rebel faction really want? Where is the astral orb? What’s really going on? However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
We investigate new games by reading them, analysis of how they seem to work, and by actually playing them. We investigate the system and the mechanics. How does it work? How does it feel playing this game, and how do these mechanics feel?
We investigate play styles and modes of play that we are unfamiliar with. Some become favorites, and some do not. However, if we are wise we do not become guilty of contempt prior to investigation.
Sometimes we investigate the impact that scenarios and circumstances have upon us and upon our characters. We investigate who the characters are. We investigate what happens when we combine everything together. We play to discover and let events emerge. We investigate the consequences of choices, and our reactions to those consequences.
If we are curious enough and we are willing to seek the truth we even if contradicts our suppositions, we investigate ideas. We experiment and talk with others and play games. We find out what makes this hobby tick.
From James T. Kirk to Eddie Valiant, Galileo to Lederman, some of my favorite people have made their living investigating.