Role-playing games exercise the imagination. With a toss of the dice, a character is born. Once the details are written down, you are ready to dive into an adventure.
To truly understand someone, you must walk a mile in their shoes. Playing a character is just that: getting into the heart, soul and mind of another person. And then, moving about in their world.
If done correctly, they will not sound like you. Each character has their own thoughts and feelings and this should come out in your performance. To do it right, they must be people.
The scenarios are varied and the challenges diverse. The setting can be in any place at any time. The goal is survival, and death is always a possibility.
The mood of these games runs the gamut, as well: excitement, terror, mystery, romance. There is battle with swords, shooting with guns, and even the wielding of eldritch power. You can fight monstrous beasts or evil sorcerers; zombies or vampires; ghosts or dimensional beings.
Just as in any story, characters are the life's blood of the game. If evil wins, all is lost; you must fight to overcome and live to fight again. There is a lesson here: our lives are like the game, and it is not over until all of the hit points are gone.