I can’t label myself ‘skilled player’, because I spent my childhood playing at my dad’s computer with Barbie games and my teens with The Sims (to be fair, The Sims 1, 2, Stories and 3). I’m a big disaster when I play with my friends some games at the Wii, Xbox or PS. It’s not my thing, I feel terribly clumsy. It’s awkward seeing me play, I swear.
But my love for Tolkien’s work led me to The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). You can start with a free to play account, say ‘I will never use money to play online’ and end up purchasing all the expansions during the Black Friday, because they have such a good price, just like me. Or, you can start with a VIP account having all the perks since the beginning.
I started playing with an Elf hunter in a server where Role Playing is encouraged and not obligatory, thank God, because I had no idea of what to do. Once I discovered the meaning of Role-playing, I simply couldn’t stop it, it’s my precious thing and I can’t help but recommend it to people. So, here are my top 5 reasons why you should roleplay.
Whether your in-game BFF could actually be a 70 years old guy, you’ll keep seeing and talking with a tiny little Hobbit, enjoying many adventures together. It could sound scary at first, especially for those like me who waited to be of age to open a Facebook account, because your mom didn’t trust the internet (true story). But there is nothing like actually being your own character and living in your dream-world.
2. Become your childhood hero
You can be the clumsiest people in the world, but you can be known as the bravest Ranger alive in-game, fot example, or master of the forge, or even Pie Maven! The titles are infinite, but what counts is the satisfaction to let your own character become skilled in what you prefer and even become a better copy of yourself. For example I’m a terrible cook, but one of my characters bakes pies like a pro!
3. Train your writing skills
If you role-play with heart, you’ll want to write some backstories for your character and maybe even start a blog to tell all the adventures you’re enjoying along your journey and you should do it respecting the lore of the game you’re playing. For example, the diary of a respectable Hobbit would never start with “You guys! Today I had the best fight ever. So cool!”, it would start telling why he/she ventured outside the Shire, for example, using a language proper to the character and his environment.
4. Meeting other people
It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert by nature, when an Elf will bow before you or a Dwarf will laugh at your joke, you’ll fill yourself immediately at home. The role-play communities usually organize public events you can attend dancing, playing instruments, meeting new friends and so on. Sometimes you can be so lucky to make life-long friendship in-game and, maybe then, even in real life. Not all the internet people are serial killers, mom.
5. Pretend to travel
If you don’t care to power level up and just kill stuff around, you can actually travel for your own pleasure across your favourite fictional world meeting new races and cultures, stopping yourself admiring a sunset, observing the animals around you, climbing cliffs and trees (breaking a leg jumping down), and so on. You don’t have to quickly level up, being your character is awesome, because you can live a totally different and amazing life in a place you always loved.
You can be whoever you want (even a monster!) and be happy with it.
Do you play any games? Did you ever role-played? Did you enjoy it?