8 Reasons We Need Kids Playing RPGs

13 min readSep 18, 2018

Posted on September 18, 2018 by James Floyd Kelly

RPGs came about in a time when so many things didn’t exist: pre-World of Warcraft, pre-HBO-Game of Thrones, and pre-internet. In those early days, players sat down and let their imaginations provide the imagery, the sounds, and the story. All you needed was some paper and a pencil (often the GM was the only person who had dice) and some friends and you were in business. Early RPGs were a shared secret that we geeks enjoyed (secret until the media got wind of it, that is, and put its sensationalistic spin on our hobby), and it allowed us time together to fly the nerd flag proudly because we were saving the world… or maybe just a small village under attack by goblins.

These days, being a geek/nerd doesn’t necessarily come with all the negative baggage. Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica is sci-fi and Game of Thrones is fantasy, but many non-geek viewers are happy to ignore these facts and enjoyed them for the story and characters. Geeks and non-geeks anxiously await the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe releases. And let’s not even try to tackle the effect Harry Potter has had on the world.

The fact is… it’s cool to be a geek. (Of course, it’s still standard procedure for people, old and young, to make fun of geeks even if they conveniently forget that last night they watched the latest episode of [fill in obviously-geek show of your choice here].) And one of the absolute coolest geek merit badges you can pin to your backpack or briefcase is the one called RPG. Back in the day, most RPGs were fantasy themed, with a few science fiction ones available. Today, just about any genre you can imagine probably can be found in an RPG form, and that means there’s no excuse to not try your hand at playing one (assuming you’ve never played one before).

This site being GeekDad.com, we typically write about geek-related things for adult males with children (most of our staff are dads), but RPGs are for moms… and grandparents… and teachers… you get the idea. RPGs can be enjoyed by everyone. And that also means… kids. If you’re a parent or legal guardian or after-school club leader or whatever… and you’ve never played an RPG, let alone played one with kids, let me offer you some thoughts on why you might want to gather these young players around a table and…


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