There are many people in the world who believe that role-playing games
, live-action (LARP
), collectable card
games) are bad, and can harm children
and young people. These are some of the reasons why role-playing games can in fact be beneficial for players.
Games can educate players.
To play role-playing games, players need to know various things in order to play successfully. They need a good character, a good setting for the story and a good solid base of information.
Games can teach history and geography, since these settings are extremely important in being able to play accurately in a historic setting, which many games do. Other social sciences that can be learned are theology (if the game is religious in nature) and mythology.
In terms of math, games teach children statistics, probability, resource management and accounting, all skills that will be valuable to them in later life. Statistics and accounting all come into play when creating characters, or managing cards. Resource management is important when allocating the character's money and abilities. Probability can be learned while rolling dice, to determine effectiveness of various skills.
As well, role-playing games help with the most basic of skills, such as reading, writing and math. Those who play enjoy reading all of the books associated with the games, and frequently write up complex character histories. Creating characters also requires knowledge of basic math, a skill that can be developed by playing.
Games are social activities.
Some believe that gaming is an activity undertaken by "loners", but when role-playing it is impossible for it to be a solo activity. The game by its very nature requires interaction with other people, whether it is in person or online.
Players often times have to work together to achieve common goals, yet also compete with the others to get their individual goals accomplished. Players learn how to work in a team, and make new friends while they are at it.
Games are a fun hobby.
The most important part about gaming is that it be fun. The primary motivation for gaming, as well as for any hobby, is enjoyment. People play in order to relax and have a good time.
Games of all stripes and colours are available nowadays, in virtually every genre imaginable. There are science fiction role-playing games, mystery, adventure and superhero along with all of the traditional fantasy settings.
Games stimulate the imagination.
Playing role-playing games requires a certain amount of on-the-spot thinking and creativity. Players have to be able to react quickly to situations that their characters get into, to create imaginative solutions to problems and obstacles.
Some role-players branch out from the game, and write their own stories, often published online as "fan fiction" set in the worlds of the games that they play. A lucky few are chosen to write for the gaming companies themselves.
Games are cheap entertainment.
One rulebook, bought for about $20, can provide hours and hours of enjoyment. Many supplemental books exist for all systems, but these are not necessary to play the game.
There is no need to buy costly equipment, or spend lots of money for a one-shot deal like a movie. The one book can provide a group of people with a storyline that can go on for months, even years. When that storyline ends, a new one begins.
These are only a few of the benefits. A child who roleplays can learn many things that they may not be able to learn otherwise. They also develop valuable social skills in a creative environment. In short, RPGs are a valuable part of society.