Please can anyone recommend an interesting , educational ,action role playing video game. Something like Knights of the Old Republic where you choose your own character at the start and 'level up' ie choose new feats to perform, new skills, attributes etc.
Nothing over R13 rating but not games like 'Bagging the Dragon' ie proper video games.
I enjoy playing games like 'BattleFront' , 'Lord of the Rings Conquest', 'Star Wars The Force Unleashed', 'Super Mario Galaxy' and 'Spiderman Web of Shadows'
Unfortunately I can't claim that these will be educational, but you may simply enjoy Neverwinter Nights 2, or Titan Quest.
Knights of the Old Republic was a lot of fun for me, too, but mostly because they borrowed the system from Neverwinter Nights, which in turn is based on Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, which I would also recommend looking into, since it is a pen and paper game and can be a lot more stimulating than most video games.
If you haven't heard of D&D, it is where RP games originated. You create a character, pick or create a class, imagine a back story, and together with a facilitator (the "Dungeon Master") or inversely, players, you adventure and create stories of your own. You may indeed even prefer to create the world and be the Dungeon Master. You will be working your brain with simple math equations as you roll dice and calculate bonuses, and stimulate your imagination as you try to envision the virtual dangers and landscapes. Work your skill with language as you take the role of storyteller as a Dungeon Master, trying to help players see what you want them to see. Neverwinter, and therefore KOTOR, was based on version 3.5, but there is a newer and somewhat friendlier version out: 4.0. It retains the basic d20 system which you would have seen in action in KOTOR, where your odds were based on a 20 sided dice and bonuses that you acquired.
Titan Quest is just a fun little hack 'n' slash (like Diablo, if you ever played that) where you travel through different ancient cultures, bent on saving the world or something. You wield a simple avatar, in terms of appearance, but your class can be quite complex, as you are generally a hybrid by default, choosing two out of (um...) maybe six different trees to specialise in. Collect loot, upgrade your gear, kill monsters faster. :)
And just something totally off the beaten track: The Sims 2. It's surprisingly complex and engaging. Your avatar does more regular sorts of tasks, but the whole simulation is surprisingly accurate and therefore amusing. There's a lot of expansions, and you do really need them to have the most fun, so it can be an expensive new habit. The Sims 3 is coming in June, apparently, so you could even wait for that. It looks incredible. Argh, I'm female and it shows.
Good luck in finding games that really tickle your brain, it's a neverending quest that I know all to well.