Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Why We Roleplay

As roleplayers we spend hours working on characters designs, equipment choices and countless other things and after all this, hand over control to a maniac with some books, often called a GM. After all your hard work you are now at the totally mercy of that maniac (GM) and no amount of for thought or planning will ever change that. So, the question is, why do we do it?

This is something I get asked a lot, mostly by my other half, but also by some of my non roleplaying friends. For a very long time my answer has simply been, because it's awesome! However, having thought about it, that's not really an answer, it neither explains why I roleplay nor does it justice as a hobby.

So, after much thought, deep thought you might say, I've come up with quite a few reasons people roleplay. Once you've read this post, have a think and post us a comment telling us why you roleplay.

RPG's Are a Group Activity
Roleplaying is a great way to meet up with friends old and new that you perhaps wouldn't meet up with as often otherwise. Games can also bring new friends together for the first time. Being social is important for everyone, its important for both you physical and mental health, so you could even say that roleplaying improves your health. Honest gov, that's the truth...

Something For Everyone
While most pre-published roleplaying games fall into either fantasy or sci-fi, by the very nature of roleplay games you can create a game about anything you want! You can Tailor each game tot he people who are playing and what they are interested in and want to play!

RPG's As Escapism
When we roleplay we don't play ourselves, or if we do we play ourselves in a completely different world. So, in a very basic way, a roleplay game is one big exercise in escapism. Now I'm not saying that I hate my life, in fact I don't really have much to moan about, but hell if I had the choice of being me or a noble knight of the realm who spent his time slaying demons to protect the kingdom I know which I would choose. Roleplaying gives us a chance to live out dreams and things you always thought would be really cool, but that you can't do, for example, I would love to go dungeoneering in the local necromancers guild, but they don't seem to keen thus, roleplay! (Please note, there is not in fact a necromancers guild in Westbury)

The Power, The Power Mwahahahaha
In everyday life lets face it, our lives are greatly dictated to us. We work, we eat and we sleep. I know there is actually a lot more, but I'm generalising, after a while its starts to feel like you just want to steal back some control of your life, enter roleplay. During characters creation, we have almost total control of our character, we decide everything from the character's name to his star sign. Once character creation done and the character is placed into the world, you then control much of what said character does, don't like the law? Break it, deal withe consequences later, or run and hide either is good. The ultimate embodiment of this reason is the GM, because well, you may control your character, but her/she controls everything from the grass to the Gods!

Brain Training
These days a craze for brain training games has arisen due to the world getting a bit thick throughout the 70's and up to now. (I don't mean that, the world isn't thick, it just seems the thickest people talk more and so get noticed more.) Anyway, while Nintendo and Sony are leaping on the bandwagon, roleplaying has been there for over 50 years! Making split second decisions, planning, problem solving and puzzling are all key elements of the game. These are great for getting the brain into top gear, I actually playing in a roleplay session before several of my A-level exams when I was college and i can tell you I was much more alert for the exam when i had been roleplaying that morning. A suggestion to the education commission maybe?

Basic Economics
Average Cinema Ticket: £12 Lasts 1.5 - 3 Hours
Average Theatre Ticket: £18 Lasts 2 - 5 Hours
Roleplaying Game Core Book: £35 Lasts forever

Need I say anymore?

So, that's what i came up with. Now, not everyone will fall into these categories, these are just my opinion. If you have anything to add, then post it as a comment below.

For those of you who have never understood why your friend or partner roleplayed, I hope this has helped you understand.

Until next time, TTFN

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