This question came to me while I was thinking about killing people in pen-and-paper rpgs.
When a character starts his career, in most systems, he is somewhat young. As an example, when you are first level in DnD 3.5, there is a starting age that is relatively low for most races. Let us assume you are a melee combatant, which we will call a fighter. You train with your master/in the army/in your dojo in a martial art whose purpose is to kill people. You then start travelling, and you encounter an opponent whom you kill. Most players are totally OK with it; they know that they will kill loads of things, many of them intelligent.
Now this may be the standard in these games, but when someone kills another intelligent (or not) being, this often results in psychological trauma, a nervous breakdown, flying into a rage, or other extreme reactions (assuming one is not mentally sick).
This applies to other situations as well: people are not afraid of the huge dragon/alien aberration/hideous re-animated corpse golem that lies in front of their eyes. They know what they will encounter, and they are willing to bypass any "normal" reactions for some reason I do not fully understand.
I do understand that you play an rpg so you can pretend to be something more than what you are -- to assume a persona that, most of the time, is something you would wish to be. But shouldn't situations like these portrayed somehow realistically?
Should situations where a person would ordinarily be frightened, upset, or mentally traumatised, and are bypassed because of the knowledge of being in a game, be roleplayed? Would this somehow hinder the game? How can one lead the players to do this?
(My opinion is that they should be portrayed, but when playing in a group it is hard to roleplay something others probably do not have an interest in.)