What we're really talking about is pretending. Make-believe. "Role-playing" may bless the activity with a marginally more acceptable moniker, but when we play RPGs we summon our most primitive urges - the ones we've had since we were children - and we tap into something about the human psyche that inclines toward empathy. We love pretending because we possess an innate desire to understand (to know and to feel) what it would be like to be *this* man or *that* woman. To mold a character through our own choices and to walk in his shoes, with as many in-world consequences and as few real-world consequences as possible, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. We know all this, and we've known it for a long time...but sometimes it pays to stop and take a another look. Sometimes we're jolted into knowing something in a better way than we knew it before.