As a role player for many years in several different game systems, not to mention I've GMed games off and on for the last 4 years, I feel qualified to tell you that role playing is in no way satanic, it doesn't make you suicidal & it doesn't make you a criminal. these things don't occur unless the person was already mentally unstable long before ever becoming involved in gaming.
Role playing is a fascinating world of acting I guess would be the best description. The players become like actors on a stage without the script. The GM is something like a narrator. He/She tells the story & the players decide how to react to it. Role playing teaches teamwork, cooperation, commitment, creativity, and yes history. Most games are set in a period of time. I've played games set in medievil times, 19th century Europe, civil war time, & some set in space or in the future. The majority of these games take real times & real equipment & real events & story tell them into a fantasy adventure. It's like reading a book but better because you get the chance to interact with the characters. As though you were really there. All it takes is imagination & the time to play!! I currently play in a PBEM which stands for Play By E-Mail. What that means, is instead of trying to find the time to get together at someone's house to play, a bunch of us play in e-mail on the Internet.I play with people from all over the world!! It makes for quite interesting role playing Interaction. I also am currently running my own campaign set in a world I created called DragonMeyr. The game I play in is set in TSR's Forgotten Realms campaign setting. I play a good 1/2 elvin cleric of Lady Luck my first attempt at a cleric I might add. Her name is Galena Farin.
Needless to say I enjoy my role playing experiences immensly!