Favourite non-RPG thing to come out of RPG’ing
I’m going to say friends.
Since the topic says “RPG’ing”, I take it that we’re talking about the act of engaging in the hobby, as opposed to RPGs as a medium.
My oldest friend in the world and I did not meet though RPG’ing — we met each other in 4th grade (about nine years old for you non-US-icans). Then we went to different middle schools and drifted apart. After that, we ended up at the same high school — one with a student body of around 2,000 kids (3,000 now!), so the odds of us bumping into each other were pretty negligible.
One day towards the end of Freshman year I get a call. My 4th-grade friend has found my phone number and wants to know if I play D&D, because he needs players. I go over to his house, play through the first Dragonlance module in a marathon eight-hour session. He and the two other players become my closest friends for the next four years. Years later, we’re in each other’s weddings. Just last month, my friend is hanging out at my house.
Decades later, the same phenomenon happens when 3e brings me back into the hobby. I meet people who become close friends, see them wed, divorce, become parents — their highs and lows. I travel to conventions and game with people who I later communicate with constantly via the Interwebs.
RPG’ing has been a primary social outlet for big chunks of my life. The bonds I form, even if for a brief time, while at the game table have been the source of so much enjoyment for me. The stereotype of the lonely nerds in the basement has never really made sense to me; my actual experience has never matched that. We were in the basement because it was the best way to keep our loud boisterousness from waking up the rest of the house (and that’s were the ping-pong table was).
Runner-up for this category is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My wife bought me a copy of the EDEN Buffy RPG after I expressed some interest in an episode we’d watched (S2E19, “I Only Have Eyes For You”). The game prompted me to borrow season one from a friend (who’d I’d met via my D&D group). Cut to years later and I’m naming my first-born son after Joss Whedon.