Someone just commented on my post on arms and armour in Mesopotamia, saying how they had used it for extra research for a school project, which made me realise how much role playing has influenced my life, and, I think I would be justified in saying, all of our lives.
Role playing really started my love for history, researching into various periods to add an extra level of detail to my role playing, before it became an interest of its own. Before long, I had taken to history just because I loved it, and started to learn both Akkaddian and Koine Greek as extensions of my interest.
Because of this little bit of research I once did for Dungeons & Dragons, I studied several units of history, and am looking to get a B. A., probably majoring in history. Because of this one thing, I got far more involved in literature, reading the ancient epics. I am not ashamed to say that I only read Spenser's The Fairie Queene because of Scott's blog (the current one's name escapes me at this moment), and his mention of it as canon for his campaign setting.
It was, quite simply, mainly from the Fairie Queene that I took to reading more poetry, above the little I was forced to read for schoolwork, and actually found myself loving the literature.
In short, role playing games formed me. They shaped me into the man I am today. Where will they lead me? I don't know, but that is life. This, I believe, could be said of all of us.