Most regular games deal with physical or mental skill, whereas role-playing games are mostly an exercise in imaginative ability. In the basic version of a game, the participant imagines the role of a fictitious character, and then tries to create and weave the story around this fictitious character. The characterization of the imaginative person is the most important part of the game. According to the characterization, the action of that particular character is determined. This action may be successful or failed, depending upon the rules and guidelines that have been previously set. Player has freedom to improvise, of course within the boundary of rules and guidelines. The choices made by these fictitious characters determine the result of the game.
A role playing game generally has no loser or winner. This is the basic difference between other games and role playing games. Sports, card games and other games are mostly competitive games whereas role playing games are mostly social games. Role playing games are played like serials; that means it can be episodic, and played daily, weekly or monthly. There are certain players who like to play role playing games in one session only. Alternatively, there are some players that play the same role playing session for months or years.
Basically the role playing games are storytelling, but with a difference in the fact that it is interactive, which makes role playing games more interesting and entertaining games for all ages. Short stories or novels intrigue you because they appeal to the imagination. Similarly, role playing games appeal to the imagination. The difference between short stories and role playing games is that the latter is interactive while the former is not. When you watch a movie in the theater, you are always a passive observer of the events; you have no control over the events that go on. In role playing games you can make choices that dictate action.
There is nothing new about role playing games, since most people in their childhood have played “Cops & Robbers”, “House”, “Doctor”, or some such similar games. The role playing games are nothing but improved (and more mature) versions of these childhood games. In role playing games, players often imagine a specific character and also the plot. It requires a great desire for a creative experience to get the really interesting games going.
Recently the technology of video games is used to create computer role playing games. The computer role playing games became instantly popular, so much that nowadays very few people play traditional role playing games. Most of the younger generation play computer role playing games instead. This has given the older cards and merchandise a sort of antique feel, which has lead to them being highly collectible.
There are many varieties to the basic role playing games. In the most common variety of role playing games, the players sit around the table and the leader will explain the scenery etc. Then, each one will create a character and tell each other their characterization. Unlike drama there will be no movement. The movement is described as in radio drama. The first role playing games available commercially were Dungeons & Dragons installments. These started the huge fad that swept the youth of the nation, and lead role playing game paraphernalia to be highly collectible.