The premise of roleplaying is something every human being learns and understands in childhood, from the moment they pick up a doll or an action figure and imagines adventures in fantastical realms.
It’s as simple as wrapping your mind around the simple trick of breaking free from your normal reality and immersing yourself in the potential of joining G.I. Joe or smashing the forces of evil with the Power Rangers.
As we get older, this solitary play evolves into activities with multiple participants, such as cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, Colonial Fleeters and Cylons, James Bond and counterspies.
In the earliest days, the roleplaying is often free form, a sort of anything goes activity where it’s just you and the toys, and whatever crazy mixed up adventures come to mind are what plays out for you.
When other people enter the mix, however, we often add rules. “If I point my gun finger at you first and say ‘Bang,’ you’re dead,” for example.
The skills we gain as children to imagine the possibilities of an impossible world may fade and lose their luster without regular use, but as it is with bicycles: You never really forget how to do it once you know.