Roleplaying and Social Learning

The act of roleplaying is one which goes far beyond games of dungeons and dragons, or the more modern online video game incarnations. It is something that everyone engaged in as a child. It is the act of make believe, of pretending that you are somebody else, and imagining that character and that world, imposing its presence on the reality of the world around you.

This is done naturally by children, who play at being princesses, or soldiers, or doctors, or even just mommies and daddies caring for their dolls. It is an act which has many purposes for a developing mind, and which can actually be beneficial even to an adult.

First, the act of using ones imagination is inherently creative. It stretches your mind, opening you up to the reality of possibilities you may not even know existed. This allows you to think in a speculative manner, to see things from a perspective which is beyond your own. This will help you not just in creative acts, but in every day life situations, where you have to find solutions to problems by seeing a scenario from all different sides.

Roleplaying, especially with others, also helps you to practice social situations, and to become acquainted with ideas about how to interact with different types of people. The act of roleplaying is safe, its all make believe, and there are practically no consequences for making a social or communicative mistake. That means that this act is like a sandbox, it is a testing ground allowing you to try out different scenarios before you have to actually engage them in the real world.

Finally, roleplaying is a way to escape. It allows a person to be who they truly are, rather than maintaining the fa├žade that they have to carry around with them on a daily basis. This may seem contrary to the nature of the act, since roleplaying is when you stop acting like yourself and pretend to be someone else. However, in the real world, where people judge you based on your personality, most people censor themselves, hiding their hidden desires and protecting their egos from the stings and criticisms of others.

In a roleplaying situation, it is possible to indulge the inner quirks and oddities that make up the true reality of your personality. While you might be pretending to be a big business tycoon, the greed and ruthlessness which you act out is a part of your personality, one which is not acceptable to display in the real world. But in a fantasy setting it doesn’t matter, as long as you are safe and not harming anyone in reality, roleplaying allows you to act out even your most undesirable character traits.

Roleplaying is an act of imagination which is engaged in by almost everyone. This is usually done as a child, but some people continue to engage in such speculative imaginings even into adult hood. It provides people with a safe place to act out their inner personality, to develop social skills, and to understand themselves in a deeper and more meaningful way.

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