Yeah I don't know where this idea came from that you have to see the actual person to play an RPG with them, wtf? Video conferencing??? The whole point of the RPG is the players assume avatars, something we've long been doing in video games.
If somebody were to make a D&D toolset and let users easily craft dungeons and whatnot for groups of people to have at, I'm sure a lot of people would climb on board.
The fact Magic: The Gathering has a successful online game that is completely identical to the physical version is proof enough it could work.