Day 7 - What Aspect of RPGs Has Had the Biggest Effect on You?
This one's a really interesting question. I would have to say there have been two effects on me. Knowledge and Friendships.
First, there is knowledge. I have always been interested in knowledge and learning new things, but one of the things that roleplaying has done for me is encouraged me to learn about subjects outside of my normal experience(s) and comfort zones. In order to run an rpg, you have to know a lot of things about various subjects, and that's something I may not have appreciated when I started gaming. I adore going to the library and researching various topics on subjects for games that I'm running. Sure, with the internet one can look up all manner of things faster, but libraries are just...cool. :) That doesn't stop me from going on-line and looking things up. I think it's been one of the factors that has led to me keeping a sharp mind at my age.
The second things that roleplaying has done for me is friendship. Some of my best friends are gamers. To use an anthropological term, it's about kinship. The bond formed from the shared experience of sitting around a table (or wherever) rolling dice and playing in an imaginary universe or world, sharing one's experiences with others, but also sharing the memories of the good and bad games and experiences around the gaming table. I'm not an extrovert, to be honest, and there are people I've met though gaming who are my friends now, not just gamers, people that I care about and that care about me, whose lives I still touch and who still touch my life.
And that, while it comes in second on the list here, is one of the most important things to come out of my life as a gamer.