Well, this one is a doozy. Is it an introspective question where I get to ramble about what I think or should I find out what others think about the answer to this question? This is largely why I like #RPGADay – it always forces you not only to come up with an answer, but ponder on the question itself. In essence I will be the one answering this from all perspectives, but I will try to give the perspectives of how I believe others see my involvement – as well as myself.
The Personal Answer
I will always love the Game Master role. It is without a hesitation of a doubt that that role, and concept, is what I seek in every game. I have said it time and again, I am a bad player. I get bored, I fidget and I get very distracted when others get their go. The GM is almost always busy in a game and hence it is the role that I always seek to fill. It is not just keeping occupied for me though, it is the knowing. I am the guy that needs to know all of the background. I love reading the justifications as to why the gnome happens to be in the same balloon as the demo-gorgon even though the players will likely never ask and there is no way for it to be revealed to them anyway!
Even when I am GM’ing without a prepared adventure, you can guarantee there is always a reason. A figure floating through space, the interior of their suit completely alight – I know the reason, do you? I always try to put these little details in place so that the players will pick up those they want to find out about and those they do not, and I have a basis for that decision that can be built on or ignored as the case may be.
The Parent’s Answer
When I got into role playing 30 odd years ago my parents only exposure to this type of game was through the media telling everyone that it was Satan’s work. My parent’s were not terribly religious but they needed to know that this thing I was getting into would not end up causing me to be an insane psychopath. So they allowed an initial dabbling and then asked my teachers. They came back with a resounding “Let him play” because the moment I took up gaming my maths, English and creative skills took off. In other words, it made me smarter, more capable of handling life and that was good for my parents.
My Player’s Response
Probably shut up and plan the next adventure!
There are a lot of different nuance’s to a question like this. I could have said that a specific spell made me really question myself in the beginning etc. but I tried to keep it as general as possible – I will be interested to see what systems and sections people identified the most with!