“Favorite non-RPG thing to come out of RPGing”?
That’s a tough one. I was racking my brain, thinking of things that have grown out of RPGs. I even perused Wikipedia to see if there was something I wasn’t thinking of. Game-inspired fiction? Not really for me. Gaming-inspired writers? I guess—I know that China Mieville has credited roleplaying with helping his writing, and I’m sure there are others. But most of my favorite authors aren’t roleplayers, and the few that I would truly miss if they didn’t exist mostly predate RPGs. RPG-derived videogames? I’ve never really been a fan of videogames, so from my perspective they’re just competition, providing easy access to people who might otherwise turn to RPGs for their gaming fix.
The more I think about it, the less I see any significant parts of society at large that came out of RPGs and have particular value for me. I mean, except for RPGs and roleplayers and RPG authors and the RPG community, of course.
And then it clicked: “community” is the answer. Almost all of my enduring friendships have either originated in gaming, or have been strengthened by it. Of my many hobbies and interests, it’s the one activity that I eventually try to get all my friends to join me in. I might still have friends without roleplaying, but not nearly so many [the one downside of introversion]. And many fewer of my friendships would have endured as we went our separate ways without that shared interest that is easy to discuss even when we don’t play together. Plus, there’s long-distance gaming which, while not as good as being in the same room, is still pretty great.
Thanks, gamer-friends, for being my friends.