I love RPG's. There's just something about the creation and maintenance of a character; something very fluid and easy to embrace. For those of us so inclined, it is both the most glorious and least poisonous high.
It isn't, I think, that we want to be stronger, smarter people. There is some of that. There is on some level a degree of self exaggeration. But the most fun is had when the character you play is nothing like you. Perhaps he's more level headed, or perhaps he has a mean streak. Maybe he was born with a terrible disease, or maybe he is just plain evil. Sometimes it's as simple as, "I have a big sword. I kill things." In any case I feel empowered, even by weaknesses.
I am not the martyr type, far from it, but I have been a martyr before. I have been able to play the tragic hero, and the tortured soul. I have been good, evil, and everything in between. Always thinking through a filter, "what would my character do?"
I get to be someone new. I get to act as them, and think like them. I have felt more for characters from certain video games than I have felt for anyone in any fictional setting. Empathy is often expressed due to common experiences, yet only in this format is it expressed due to a common existence. You wear the mantle, and the mantle wears you in return.
--- So anyway, I'm going to try to give my argument for the polls each week, and hope that there are those of you who will agree. Perhaps if we can get enough people voting we can start a flame war. Wouldn't that be exciting?