Role-play has been around for a long time. In essence roleplaying can be thought of as free-form theatre or improvisation. This improvisation is usually guided by by some boundries such as the motivation of the characters involved. Role-play is often used as a tool by psychiatrist?s, teachers, and trainers as a way of exploring social situations and work through the possibile actions and consequences.
Sexual role-play is also a form of role-play where partners take on roles such as a maid and her master. Although this can cause confuse people unaware of existence of role-playing in its more widely understood sense.
Confusion can also occur for example in French where the name "jeux de role", is also the French name for pyschodrama.
Modern RPG's evolved from wargaming roots where the emphasis became more on the individual characters than the manipulation of army statistics. Generally considered the first and probably best-known of these types of games is Dungeons and Dragons.
The computer adventure games now also known as role-playing games are derived from this strain of role-playing.
Types of Role-play
Originally, RPGs were played on a tabletop, because they involved paper, dice, and maybe miniatures. Some games owe more to their wargaming roots where attributes or "stats" form an important component of the game, to the other end of the scale where the rules are periphery to the roleplaying characterisation during the game.
The term "Roleplaying game" can be applied to a number of distinct genres.