The Seductions of RPGs

by MW Cook

I didn’t have a lot of friends in High School. I blame a combination of poor social skills and acne.

Once a pretty girl sat across from me in the cafeteria while I was reading a book from the Incarnations of Immortality series. She tried to strike up a conversation with me. I guess she felt bad for me. I kinda ignored her. She got offended and left. So, yeah, not the best social skills.

But there was one thing I did well in High School. One place where I shone: Paper and dice role-playing games.

Never heard of them? Look them up.

This skill evolved into the more popular computer RPGs. Knight of the Old Republic. Fable. Baulder’s Gate. World of Warcraft.

Ever wondered why so many people get so hooked on these games?

Deep down inside there is always an interest in becoming someone mighty or special and going forth to conquer and achieve and do something.

It’s because there is an itch, deep inside. A itch, gifted to use through evolution or the spirit or God or both. A itch to go forth. To get. To win. To leave the world different than we found it.

Aren’t you itchy for that?

I am.

The games are popular because we itch. And anyone who has loved these games knows how mind-bogglingly itchy they can get.

I know a better way to scratch that itch, though, now.

To make my life an RPG.

That is, to go forth. To achieve. To leave the world different than it was when I found it.

Because each problem you solve gives you XP.

Each obstacle you overcome levels you up.

Each skill you attain is an achievement unlocked.

Each new friend is a party member, striving with you for whatever quests you choose to pick up.

Real life is so much more fun than any RPG.

Even KoToR.