What can we learn from role playing?

By on 11 March 2011

As a fairly new role player I feel it is not my province to remark on the overall community, however I feel like I do feel like I’m on the outside looking in, It has gave me some insight into what we can and have learned from the role play hobby. I’ve been playing for roughly 2 years and I play regularly with a group of veterans who are brilliant and have showed me the ropes to the best of their abilities, however there are some things that I have had to personally overcome when I entered the hobby as a newbie, I am dysgraphic and I have dyscalculia I’m terrible with manual hand writing and utterly terrible at maths so in the past when It has came to application forms for jobs, forms for university and anything that comes with a series of boxes I have to fill out I usually have to find someone who can write it for me. So when I went to my first RP game and they pushed a character sheet under my nose, I was at a loss.

I really wanted to try out RP games at the time and I was determined to overcome these issues with myself for the sake of enjoying myself, which in the end of the Call of Cthulhu game I had definitely had a really good time! This got me to thinking about self improvement, If I could use gaming as a method of learning while having a good time then I decided to press onwards on finding more games in my area. This brings me to my next point about the hobby itself, the community, it’s brilliant! what else is there to say? I’ve never felt so welcome in my whole life. Within the first week of finding a group I was meeting up with my current gaming group who wouldn’t let my nervousness get in the way of gaming, they went at a pace to help me understand the character sheet and even though I’m a slow learner they didn’t get fed up with me.

In my time role playing a number of my skills have improved greatly, my numeracy has drastically improved, form filling has got easier to understand and I’ve learned that it’s not a bad thing to ask questions, also before I started role playing I was an MMO junky and it did nothing for my social life and having a weekly role play group got me out the house and meeting new people. On top of these simple skills I’ve garnered it has also helped my other more specific skills as a writer, I’ve learned to describe environments in more detail and develop characters easier, when you’re making characters on the fly every other week for new systems and games you learn quickly how to build a basic archetype character with a simple back story and list of motives in a matter of minutes.

I think finally the most important lesson I have learned from role playing is the teamwork and teambuilding, trusting others to assist you and relying on others in situations is something that I think everyone needs to learn for role playing and for every day life and to close I’d say that role playing has most definitely changed my life, it gave me friends and taught me worthwhile lessons that I could utilize into my everyday life.

About James Grimes

James is writer from Derbyshire and when he’s not running games he’s writing them. He has spent 3 years running games trying to perfect his craft. Like a reluctant hipster he supports indie games and new systems that people haven’t probably heard of but that doesn’t jade his opinion of the classics and greats.


  1. jonnygray

    13 March 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Wow James! You look at me as a veteran rpg’er?………you need to get yourself some new specks!Good to hear it has changed your life for the better. I seriously didn’t realise the problems you had, when you started gaming with us. I can safely say you have been a valuable addition to our games and I look forward to the ideas you come up with!
    Keep gaming dude……….it will save the world one day!

  2. Mikey G (knightinarmour)

    14 March 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Nice article James. And thanks for regarding us as veteran’s (which I suppose we are, but Neil still beats my 28 years gaming!!) I also didn’t realise your problems with character sheets – we will always help you. “don’t forget your Wild Die, James”. cu

  3. Pingback: Some Nice Articles for Newer Roleplayers « Recession Dodge to Victory

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