So what makes an rpg an rpg?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by TheHouseAlwaysWins, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Nov 26, 2007
    Except that's more of a game about fulfilling an elected (or bestowed; or forcibly taken) office—"role", as opposed to whether that particular ruler is helplessly indecisive, inept, or a coward, a sycophant, a tyrant, a community organizer, an hydrophobic; a liar; an idealist, or an opportunist.

    IE. [supporting, or at least responding to] the difference between Atilla, Alexander, and Ichabod (or Frasier) Crane running the nation—that would be roleplaying IMO.

    *That their personalities make the significant difference.

    Nowadays, it's almost purely empowerment fantasy. The modern idea of RPG... is Westworld; as a digitally simulated activity themepark. :yuck:
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  2. Squadcar

    Squadcar I'm spinning

    Jun 1, 2018
    These two points are very good. Something I've not thought of in this way.
    While I have my preferences in what I prefer in an RPG such as narrative choice and multiple solutions to problems. The idea that those two things alone could make an RPG are not enough.
    You can have a linear narrative RPG or a open world, diverse choice RPG but what matters is if you're playing the character as if it were a different person or if the character is a vessel for your skills.
    This is the entire appeal of the genre. We have games that test our skills but instead the RPG allows you to build a character (usually) and figure out how to make it work in the world you adventure through.
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  3. Muttie

    Muttie It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 9, 2017
    My first post was a bit ignorant, tbh.

    And I was just expressing more casual observations (talking out of my arse) and possibly what I like in a game (consequence, depth, complexity), and what I thought games have become.

    For the better and for the worse. Some was a necessary evolution (board games of the 80s considered a “kick in the teeth” an “exciting and challenging turn of events” and it was too much at times), but the commercializing of games and franchises, is taking it too far. Fallout was a niche product, becoming mainstream doesn't work so well. Eventually, it always ends up in the wrong hands.

    Anyway, Risewild then put out a definition for RPG which is serviceable and more accurate.

    However, despite the fun of contemplating definitions, perhaps the best thing is not to use genres but just name the game one likes, and what one likes about it. Having a word helps, but only if it means something. The term RPG really has become the promised land of all our hopes and dreams, and consequently, it means everything and that's nothing.

    In fact having a clearer definition of RPG, I don't find the term that useful anymore. :)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  4. Squadcar

    Squadcar I'm spinning

    Jun 1, 2018
    Well said, I usually feel this way about genres in general. I can't say I only like certain genres when I find out I like just about something from every genre but never everything from any of them. It gets to a point where the genre matters less and the execution and quality of the art matters much more. Genres are just like guidelines that show you what it might be like but it could still subvert your expectations even if you like/dislike that genre.
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