Let me tell you why I like tabletop role-playing games so much. They’re fun, they’re challenging, and they’re something to do with your friends that still involves sitting around in the basement all night, but there’s a table involved, so it’s cooler and totally not at all pathetic. I love gaming with my friends, but with fewer and fewer games offering same-screen multiplayer, it gets hard sometimes, especially if someone doesn’t have a LAN-party-capable computer. Sometimes it’s actually easier to spend all week prepping for a D&D session and then spend the evening playing it. There’s so many reasons why I think that everyone should play tabletop RPGs—here are the ones I think are most important.
Number one: RPGs are fun! They’re a way to game that most people aren’t familiar with, and let you use creativity way more than in any video game. Making a character, growing attached to him/her, getting involved in crazy stories, weeping over their desiccated corpse when they step into a trap—it’s an experience that’s hard to get elsewhere. The very nature of the game requires you to think about problems in new and unique ways. If you can throw your game master off, chances are (speaking as an experienced GM) they’ll reward you for doing something clever and off the walls. And you get to do all of this with your friends! And that brings me around to the second reason why you should play RPGs: they’re way more socially driven than video games.
Sure, LAN parties are fun, but you miss out on a certain level of interaction with your friends. Spending hours working through problems and battling alongside your comrades goes a long way in developing and strengthening friendships. I met some of my closest friends from high school playing D&D, and the game has helped me through a lot of rough patches in my life. They’re also an excellent way to meet people! I’ve heard countless stories of people who move to a new city and can quickly find friends by checking out their local game store and participating in some goblin-bashing fun. And besides, playing D&D makes sitting around in your basement all night seem less sad than it would otherwise.
My favorite thing about RPGs is that they’re for everyone, provided that you have an imagination and like doing (or at least pretending to do) amazing things. I’ve played with people from nearly every walk of life, and every one of them enjoyed it. Well, almost everyone, anyway. Those who didn’t are dead to me, anyway. I’ve seen RPGs bring people together in ways that would never have happened otherwise, and that’s as good a reason to play as any; though I’m not going to lie, the thrill of rolling a critical hit against a boss the GM clearly didn’t intend for you to actually defeat is really something else.