Fun Way to Enhance Your Social Life

Roleplaying games are gaining a new popularity amongst people who have never played them before

Role Playing Games are gaining a new popularity amongst people who have never played them before

Kimbers with her new thing

MEET Kimbers.  30 years old and a former party girl with a vibrant reputation on the dance floor, and for a sharp eye behind the camera at fashion shows and music industry events.  This time two months ago she would not have been able to tell you the difference between a six-sided dice and 1d6.  {None!}

But Kimbers represents a growing trend of people in their 20s and 30s getting seriously interested in RPGs, here in the UK.  Even the barman at the place where I run weekly sessions of Yellow Dawn knew what we were doing when he first found us taking over the quiet, front room of the pub: “My mates and I have just started getting into Pathfinder,” he told me, whilst pouring a dark stout. “Yeah, none of us have ever done it before but we’ve got all the books now, and we’re slowly working out how to do it. Take it in turns to be the GM, you know.”

In fact, I have two new players in my group and neither had touched RPGs before now.

It’s a rather lovely turn of events. In part, I feel it’s being driven by the massive rise of Fantasy within mainstream entertainment, from Lord of the Rings through to Game of Thrones. But there’s also a lot of science fiction getting in there too, with a healthy dose of super heroes and post-apocalyptic survival (enter Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur).

I also wonder if there’s a chunk of interest coming from folks who have seen quite famous celebs playing RPGs and Card Based games on YouTube. Because there’s certainly a huge social aspect to roleplaying. New friendships can form as you meet other players; and existing friends find a reason to disconnect from mobile devices and electronic game-consoles to actually meet up and do something, together.

I’m tempted to see if it’s worthwhile setting up an open evening in Bristol for folks who want to try roleplaying but don’t know anyone to get them started.  I can see a lot of people interested, but it’s about breaking down that initial uncertainty around the fact there are no pieces on a board, and a wariness based on fear of failure… or even a fear of performing.  The truth is, roleplaying is a huge amount of fun and spills from our natural ability to listen to stories, and visualise them. If you’ve never tried RPG before, the best way to think of it is as reading an amazing book where you get to guide the character through towards an outcome, using dice for critical decisions.

If you’ve got your own theories on this, or want to share you own experiences of roleplaying, drop some words in the comments section below.

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