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People should engage in more role-playing games

Photo Credit: Taelar Johansen · The Sentry

Role-playing is better than video games

In our digital age where most people have at least one foot in virtual reality, it is nice to find a reason to reconnect with friends or find some new ones in the real world.

Role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Pathfinder, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Call of Cthulhu engage the imagination by giving players unlimited options in character-and-world-building.  The customizable aspect of both the storyline and characters is just one of the reasons that role-playing games are far superior to modern video games. 

Additionally, it gives players the ability to replay storylines with new characters that change the outcome and progression of events; whereas in video games, the storyline is fixed.

For example, for those who have never played a table-top, role-playing game, a typical session consists of one Game Master (GM) who spends hours creating maps and characters for the players to interact with inside the world the group creates. The GM narrates the story, challenging the players at every turn. Single player campaigns do exist but are not as fun as campaigns run with three or more players.

Since there are no rules to how people can play, any base table-top role-playing game can be tailored to any age group and could even be adapted to fit into academic classes as a tool to help teach the more boring subjects. For example, the colonization of America by the English would be a great setting to incorporate D&D mechanics, which would allow students to create a colony and solve numerous problems instead of simply reading from a textbook.   

Improvisations and decision making are another major reason why people should consider table-top gaming over video games. Having to deal with different kinds of situations could help the players work through problems in their own lives. Using D&D as an example, every choice is usually followed by a dice roll, which determines how successful the player’s decision is.  Say a player wants to stealthily pick a lock, if  the player rolls a one, he or she fails at picking the lock, and the group must now figure out a new way into the building. Video games hand decisions to the player—pick between option A or option B. Those kinds of limited choices do not relate to real life compared to role-playing games.

Today, games like D&D have had a rejuvenated presence in pop culture through shows like Stranger Things and The Goldbergs. Hopefully, as time passes, table-top gaming will continue to grow in interest.

But if this style of gaming sounds interesting, there are various locations around Denver that offer rooms for people to meet and play. The Lair of Abraxas in Westminster, the Wizard’s Chest on South Broadway, and the new Gaming Goat opening in Littleton are opening their gates for people to find a group and start their adventures.

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