Back in the late 1980s, it was always the nerdy kids playing tabletop Dungeons and Dragons and enduring hours of bullying for their hobby. These were the kids that people used to laugh at, that had very few friends, and whose life through high school was pretty dire. Fast forward thirty years, and role playing games are seen as the ultimate geek chic cool. RPGs such as Fortnite and World of Warcraft have opened up whole new online universes for people across the globe. The chances are that those very bullies from 1988 are now sitting down to their PC every evening for a quick blast of Warcraft. Take a look at how role playing games suddenly got so cool.
If you were a geek in the early nineties, you were seen as brainy, boring and unpopular. There was no kudos in being a geek. You were cast aside for the more favorable jocks and class clowns. Nowadays, geeks aren’t seen as targets for bullying; they are welcomed into friendship groups with open arms. Geeks are still seen as intelligent, but they are also seen as fun, kooky, quirky and different. This difference is now embraced rather than shunned. Society as a whole has moved on from being exclusive, to be altogether more inclusive. Children are now told to embrace their foibles and be proud of them. The geek chic phenomenon has meant nerds across the world are more free to be who they want to be. This tends to be RPG fanatics, and it is this that has broken through into popular culture.
While Dungeons and Dragons was rolling a pair of dice, making the right moves and fighting monsters using a notepad and pencil, this gameplay has now been brought to life with awesome graphics, and enhanced and epic immersion into new and exciting worlds. How often do you get to become a wizard, an orc or a shaman? In World of Warcraft, you can do just that.
With the emergence of online gaming, you can now form friendship groups and teams across the globe. If you are an avid Runescape player, you can purchase extra Old School Gold online, formulate strategy with your bredren across the world, and organize when you will embark on your latest quest. The RPG world isn’t full of nerds anymore, it is a new way of interacting with people from all walks of life.
RPGs used to be very niche. Now, the role playing genre has been embraced by TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. The ability to make this once sidelined genre into something more popular and mainstream has piqued the interest of many who have never even considered playing an RPG before. If something is in our psyche, it will always find its place in popular culture.
Geek chic is now cool. Venture into the world of Fortnite and see what you think. After all, RPGs are fun and here to stay.