Hello, bloggers and gamers of Game Informer!  This week's "Mind-Blown" post is a little different.  It's on my favorite genre in video games: role-playing games.  Let's get started.

            When I think of the games I've played in the last few years that have truly blown me away, there's something they have in common.  Soon after I got a PlayStation 3, I bought one game that started an obsession: Fallout 3.  It was easily one of my favorite games of all time almost as soon as I began playing it.

            After Fallout 3, I got Dark Souls.  Not mentioning the rare gem that is Dark Souls individually, it only expanded my love for role-playing games.  After this, I got New Vegas.  Somewhere in there, I also got Oblivion, but we won't talk about that one too much (I hated it).

            Then I got Skyrim.  Skyrim was another rare gem that I passed on for about a year because of my hatred for Oblivion.  After two hundred hours of playing and loving the game dearly, I still consider that procrastination to be a big mistake.

            Anyway, we see a pattern here.  A lot of my great gaming experiences on the PlayStation 3 were role-playing games.  Before then, the only role-playing game that I bothered to play was Kingdom Hearts.  I've currently done a "Mind-Blown" post on three of the games I mentioned.

            I pondered the role-playing genre in my mind and thought, "Wow, I really do love this genre."  So I decided to write about it.

            This picture represents perfectly one of the reasons I love role-playing games.  Excusing the bottom-left picture (love it when someone calls a fantasy "evil"), role-playing games are up to interpretation.  What does this mean?  Well, it means a lot of things.

            I've always thought that the name of the role-playing genre was strange.  Technically, you play a role in ever game, right?  Role-playing games, however, are unique in that they are personal experiences.  Most role-playing games allow you to create your own character.  You edit his or her looks, personalities, and abilities.  Then you name your new character.  I've always loved this because it made my gaming experience personal.  This is your identity in this new world.

            Often, role-playing games allow you to craft your own stories.  Mass Effect, for example, allows you to change the storyline based on your decisions.  Even role-playing games with linear storylines like Kingdom Hearts make your experience personal with abilities and skill trees that you can change based on your play style.  This is also big in Dark Souls.

            You see, while in other games, you may hack at enemies through the eyes of a detached character made for you, role-playing games make those eyes your eyes, immersing you in their worlds.

            If you've ever played a popular role-playing game, you've heard of lore.  Gaming lore is the stories and legends in video games.  Sometimes they're directly told in the game, and sometimes they're not.  But they are very important in a game.

            I love depth in a video game.  If that wasn't obvious in my last "Mind-Blown" post, now it is.  Lore, in my opinion, is important because it comes from the depth of a video game.  It gives true appreciation of a video game.  Recently, I've looked at Dark Souls lore, and I've found many side stories within the game that I had never notices before.  These stories tell a deeper side of the game, which I love.  And where do you find lore the most?  Role-playing games.

            And this leads to my third point.  Role-playing games have more depth than most games of other genres.  Out of this genre comes brilliantly crafted gems like Dark Souls and Skyrim, games that will be cherished and talked about for a long time.  Out of these games, we have stories to tell and strategies to share.  We have epics to craft and powerful foes to vanquish.  And with each new role-playing game made, we have a new world, rich with new stories and legends, ready to explore.  Whether it's a post-apocalyptic wasteland or a fantasy world of horrors and death, there's always something new in store.

            That's it for this week.  Next week will be a special one because it'll be named "Mind-Blown: The Gaming Industry".  This will be my last "Mind-Blown" post.  Comment on anything, and be ready for next week's post.  And as always, thanks for reading!