As at least half of you know, I run a roleplaying game on Tuesdays. I've been doing this same game, more or less every week for nearly six years now. As you can imagine, it can get a bit stale from time to time. In fact, recently running the game had been feeling a bit like a chore, though worthwhile because I get to see my friends.
Then this amazing thing happened. We were having a more or less normal run, and a ninety minute in-character theological discussion started to take place. This sort of thing does happen in my run from time to time, but this one was particularly good. It got me feeling all good and enthusiatic about the run, I think because it was an example of good roleplaying, not just using dice to pretend to bash orcs.
There are some disadvantages to running a game for so long. You lose the thrill of discovery aspect of it. All my players know the world pretty darn well now. I also don't have a lot of neat tricks to pull that haven't been done already. I also don't want to do some of the cliche ones like a mirror-mirror run. The players have also been running there characters for a long time. Everyone is 20th level or more except for the two characters belonging to people who decided to drop their characters and start over again at first level. This makes it difficult to keep challenging the group. Its easy to get caught up in these issues and forget that there are real advantages to running for so long.
Because the players know the world and their characters so well, they can take an in-character issue and discuss it at length as their character. The characters can disagree with each other, with everyone proving valid in-character support for their own side. When they continue to work as a group in spite of their differences in opinion, it doesn't feel like something that I'm forcing them into for the sake of keeping the party together. Now I remember why I do this every Tuesday.