Role-Playing Games are probably my favorite type of games to play, you aren’t confined to a specific story or at least not confined to getting to the end by a specific route. You write the story and the journey is uniquely yours.
I’ve found that because they’re a lot less confined than linear games, they tend to be able to teach many things that linear games can’t and can teach many things depending on how many paths there are and how many you decide to take, for example, two things that Detroit Become Human that are polar opposites are being a good leader and the horror of tyranny depending on the choices you make as Markus.
The Elder Scrolls series teaches us that even if you are chosen to do something, even if you are supposed to be the hero of the story. You can choose to not follow that path and the paths to heroism, villainy or simply fading in time are entirely in your hands. With role-playing games, you can touch on many more subjects in a much more in-depth way than linear games fail to achieve more often than not.
Using DBH as another example, it touches on abuse, good and bad leadership, what being free/human is and the choice we all must make of always just doing as we’re told or choosing to be our own person. With role-playing games, you can put more of your own personality into the character/characters or be someone completely different from yourself and gain a better understanding of the opposite of your path in real life without actually having to change your path in real life.
On the other hand, you might discover that the opposite path is the better path and role-playing games give us a better and more physical idea of what that path would be like. Not to mention that even if you discard all the lessons you can learn from them, they tend to be able to provide countless hours of entertainment to help us cope with the stresses of real life due to the vast amount of different choices, outcomes etc.
Role-playing is such a needed genre because you can learn so many valuable lessons and you get to be in another person’s shoes in a sense and maybe discover how something might look from another person’s perspective without having to learn the hard way in real life and be able to avoid the consequences of your decisions altogether. Role-playing isn’t always about living your fantasy, it’s just as often about discovering more about your true self and figuring out what you truly want with your characters being the medium in which you do so.
To summarize, role-playing games teach you unique lessons that only they can, they can help you escape reality for a time or discover your true self, they can take you on journeys that you might not be able to take in real life and teach you the importance of good decision making. Trust me, I saw Alice and Kara get hit by a car and you do not want that. Thankfully roleplaying games seem to be increasing dramatically and I personally can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!