Why Roleplaying Games Are Good

So now that I’ve explained what you need to get to start roleplaying, let’s talk about why you should start gaming. Roleplaying games are good. I’m not even talking about for children/teenagers either, but for people in general. Here’s a list of reasons for adults to play more tabletop games.

  • It’s a social activity. Unlike many other hobbies these days, a roleplaying game requires social interaction with others. Video games are typically played alone or with people online, more and more people are watching movies at home instead of going out, but roleplaying games require you sitting at a table with your friends.
  • It helps keep the mind sharp. Have you at any point in your adult life tried to use algebra or write an essay? It’s very hard if you’re not doing it on a daily basis like you were in school. Roleplaying games require some level of math and a lot of creativity.
  • It supports small businesses. With only a couple of exceptions, every roleplaying game or tabletop game company is a small, independently owned business. They have a handful of employees who work tirelessly, giving money to their local economy. Most of those companies are also American companies who subcontract out localization to other small, local companies when publishing in other countries and languages. Many independent publishers print and manufacture in the United States as well, and others try their best to do so within the limits of financial feasibility.
  • Reminds you to be a good host and guest. Games typically take place in a private home. If you’re hosting the game, you have to make sure your house is clean and you have food and drink for everyone. If you’re visiting, you should always bring something like a snack or some soft drinks/beer/bottle of wine for everyone to enjoy. Many gaming sessions I’ve played or attended ended up being potluck dinner parties that included polyhedral dice.
  • Low overhead investment to get started. Most hobbies have large initial cost outlay. You want to start a musical instrument or home improvement or carpentry, you have to buy hundreds or thousands in tools and raw materials. As I stated in my last post, you can start gaming for around $100-150 and be set. And that cost can be spread amongst the entire group.
  • No demands of your time. You can spend as much or as little time as you like gaming, from a couple of hours every few weeks to marathon all-day-long sessions every weekend. You can go months without gaming and pick it up again right away. Your character’s stats won’t suffer from being away so long and you won’t be incredibly far behind even if you spend years away from the hobby (unless a new edition comes out, of course).
  • Escapism. Sometimes, life just sucks. Roleplaying is an escape for a few hours, letting you slip into the life of someone else or running a game engaging in collaborative storytelling. It lets you get out of the cubicle  mindset for an evening and fight an epic battle against evil.
  • Learn all sorts of new things. Many of the terms that are common in roleplaying games are collegiate-level vocabulary. The monsters and races in fantasy games draw from the mythologies of many different cultures. A lot of adventures are based on classic works of literature. While a lot of the knowledge you gain may not be useful in the “real world”, knowing different types of medieval polearms might just make the difference between winning or losing on Jeopardy someday.

So if you need any further encouragement, there you are. Best to go out and buy one of those starter boxed sets, join your local gaming store’s D&D Encounters session, or look around online for a local group you can join.

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Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 12:01 AM  Leave a Comment  

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