Want to Revisit Your Youth? Why Not Try Paper-and-Pencil Roleplaying Games


So you experimented in college. Why is unimportant. Maybe you grew up being told that this thing that you now wanted to try was wrong, and you decided to find out for yourself. Maybe you always really wanted to try it, but you were afraid of social ostracism if it ever came out that you were that way.  And maybe you just sort of drifted into doing it because your new friends all liked it, so they figured you would. And you did! So you got into it, then after a few years you got out of it because you felt you needed to conform to society’s expectations of you.  Only, lately, you’re starting to feel that urge again.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you needn’t feel ashamed. It’s OK. You can go back to playing roleplaying games (RPGs), and never mind the haters.

Seriously, though: I get people on a semi-regular basis sidle up to me at various venues and quietly admit that, yeah, they used to throw down the dice on Saturday nights. But then they tell me that they’ve stopped; and usually they’re a little surprised when I asked them why. Because it’s perfectly possible to keep doing this hobby as an adult, and I’ll be happy to give you some reasons why you should.

First off, one good reason to start gaming again as a real-life "grown-up" is because you are a grown-up now, and can do as you please. This may seem patently obvious to many, but I encounter folks who seem to think that the absurd and artificial micro-society that dominates high school and college still applies here. You no longer have to care what your peers think of your hobbies.  You didn’t back then, either, but we don’t have time travel to fix that.

Second, the general gaming experience can improve with age. Note "can": there’s a stereotype of a certain type of older gamer which is unfortunately not entirely inaccurate. But there’s generally less self-destructive backstabbing, pointless arguments, and other personal drama at the table when gamers get to their thirties and forties; that stuff gets old, yes? -- plus, younger gamers bring munchies; older gamers bring food.