What aspect of RPGs has had the biggest effect on you?
Aside from all the friends I’ve made — more numerous and diverse and for longer than any other hobby — the thing RPGs have helped with is social confidence. This in turn has helped leadership and facilitation skills. There’s a reason why role-playing is used in business and leadership training. It puts you in a challenging situation, with identifiable win or lose conditions, but without the risk. I’ve used it as facilitator, interviewer, and trainee.
Being a player helps you learn active listening, lateral thinking, and social skills that you otherwise wouldn’t try out because the stakes are too high. Being a GM encourages you to think about the stakes of a situation, the consequences of success or failure, and even long-term scenario planning.
Of course you can get those skills elsewhere, but if you think about it roleplaying exercises a huge range of creative muscles. In fact that’s true of games generally. Games make great martial arts warm-ups, teaching a whole lot of complementary skills whilst making you sweat.
Role-playing is good for you, and games are good for you.