3 Positive Lessons You Can Learn from Classic RPGs


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At a certain point in time stretching from the late 90s to the early 2000s, classic RPGs ruled the roost, with games like Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, Might & Magic 6, 7, and 8, and Diablo 1 and 2 taking the gaming world by storm in a massive way.

Recently, this deeply story-driven, text rich, and newbie-unfriendly format of RPGs has been making something of a comeback, with games like Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 showing that there are still many people in the gaming world with an appetite for that focus-intensive style of play.

Even before this renaissance, however, many of the great RPGs of the last couple of decades have incorporated plenty of features originally pioneered by the classic RPGs. Both Dragon Age Origins and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic owe their success largely to trends started by their predecessors, for example.

It seems like a lot of the timeless popularity of the genre has to do with the deep storytelling elements involved. In the interest of taking those tales seriously, here are a few positive life lessons you can learn from classic RPGs.

You may start from humble beginnings, but with enough work and adventurous spirit, you can become a king

In virtually every classic RPG, if not, in fact, every single one, you start pretty much as a nobody. In Baldur’s Gate, you start in the role of someone who is more or less all alone and lost in the world. In Might and Magic 7, you’re a party of anonymous adventurers who strike it lucky and win property.

The key thing that makes these games compelling is that you don’t have to stay a nobody. By facing danger and living heroically and well, you can make your fortune, you can beat the odds, and you can end up a hero, a king, or something similar.

You could do a lot worse for yourself in real life than believing in your endless potential to overcome your circumstances through heroic living and become a king.

It really pays to have goals to head towards

RPGs truly innovated one feature which was so effective at appealing to basic human psychological needs, that it now exists in all kinds of real-world dimensions as a core element of “gamification.”

That feature is, of course, the quest log.

Having goals to work towards — and then having the satisfaction of crossing them off and enjoying a reward once you’re done, is a blissful experience, and it’s also at the heart of many of the leading business productivity systems today.

If you feel like your life’s a bit dull, or inconsistent, and lacks direction, set yourself some goals and replicate the quest log in your own life. It’ll feel just as good to cross items off in real life as in the game.

There’s a right way and a wrong way of doing things — do what you’ve got to do before looking for bigger and better things, or else you’re likely to pay the price

Classic RPGs were generally notorious for not guiding their players by the hand and making their lives easy. If you stray too far off the beaten track, at too low a level, don’t be surprised if some otherworldly monstrosity emerges from the bushes, kills you with one hit, and drinks your soul.


In classic RPGs, you’ve got to pay your dues, and play by the rules. Direct your efforts properly, and you can expect to thrive and conquer. Try to cut corners, and you can expect a minotaur to beat you to a pulp in the underbrush.

This lesson can be applied to various dimensions of your everyday life. It could, for example, inspire you to use Netverify to comply with KYC, AML, & PCI regs in your dealings at work, or it could just remind you to hit the gym routinely, like clockwork, if you’re serious about wanting that six-pack.

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