Roleplaying is one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. I grew up on fantasy and science fiction and I first cut my teeth in the RPG world back in 1984 with Basic D&D. I could always rely on roleplaying games because they were fun, energetic and creative. My friends thought so, too, and together we embarked upon journeys of imaginative discovery and adventure.
Years ago, computer RPGs were the little brother of tabletop RPGs. When I say little brother, it was the kind of sibling that pissed you off, nipped and your heels and made you wonder if you could get away with sibling murder. Siblicide? Have I just created a new word? Computer RPGs were limited, narrow and linear. The borderless worlds of imagination were the true wonders of RPGs and could only be accessed through paper, pencils and clattering dice.
That was years ago. It’s 2009, now. I’m 38 and I have a full time job, a wife and a son. My friends are in similar situations. We’ve gamed once, for two hours, in the last month. That’s crap. In my heyday I was gaming three nights a week for three to five hours a game.
So what has come to rescue me in my need for an RPG fix?
World of Warcraft.
I just don’t have the time to design, create, arrange and attend tabletop RPGs anymore, and the ones I do attend might have less than the required number of players, only last an hour or so or not even happen at all. With WoW I can switch on and off at my leisure, be guaranteed some gameplay and banter with like-minded Guildies. After all my bitching and sniping at computer RPGs as being bland and uncreative, it turns out an MMORPG has saved my imaginative bacon.
WoW will never truly replace my tabletop RPG experience because tabletop requires such imagination and a lust for creativity that can’t be satiated by the limitations of the computer world.
But, damn, if it’s not fun.