The Ultima Online 2 homepage posted a few interesting comments from the Ulitma Online 2 dev team. Its goes right to the core of RPG's, "Did you ever play "Cowboys and Indians?" Or maybe it was "Cops and Robbers?" What made that experience fun and enjoyable? At its foundation, those basic play pat-terns are the underpinnings for simple interactive role-playing".
The article uses real life analogies to mimic the way an RPG develops, "most children do not stop at World Immersion. They are not content merely imagining their fantasy world. Usually within a matter of a few minutes (especially with boys), they take the play to the next level - conflict. Some children choose to create conflict with each other, while others envision the conflict against some outside force"
That article is a must read for all role playing game fans, and those not yet converted to the way of the sandal it is an interesting insight into how the swings and roundabouts of RPG's work, "At its core is a violent clash between Ultima's classic Virtues and Dread. With a long history and rich pedigree, the Virtues extol the intrinsic value of such principles as Truth, Love, and Courage. Counterbalanced against them all is Dread, a system of anti-Virtues. Dread is that menacing side of the human existence that begets malevolence".