T O P

Aren’t all video games Role Playing Games?

Aren’t all video games Role Playing Games?

Dryad_Queen

No, because that's the name of a genre, not a plain descriptor. RPGs generally share certain traits, such as stats the player can change/optimize.


Skatingraccoon

No, you're looking at it too literally. Historically, role playing games were pen and paper games (like Dungeons and Dragons) where you actually wrote a character and played them through campaigns and stories and adventures. That translated into computer games with similar but simpler mechanics. Then the genre expanded to include games like Japanese RPGs (which tended to be a little more formulaic, giving you less freedom over your character), Action RPGs (very broad genre now, but traditionally it was games like Diablo or Torchlight) and Action/Adventure RPGs, and... a whole slew of things in between. And then games started incorporating "RPG mechanics" (aka, leveling up, upgrading your character, gear, etc.) into them while not actually being.... you know, role-playing games. Whole thing's kind of a mess now. These days, you don't necessarily design your own character (like in the Witcher games, though you *define* your character through the story choices you make), and you don't necessarily even always make story choices (especially in the case of many MMORPGs).


archpawn

And in Tetris you play the role of [the man who arranges the blocks as they slowly descend from up above](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWTFG3J1CP8)? Seriously though, when roleplaying games were invented, videogames weren't really a thing. D&D was based off of a wargame, where you controlled all the characters. You could argue that you were controlling the general, but they don't control everyone directly like that. And I don't think there's generally an actual character for that. You could argue that something like monopoly is a roleplaying game in that in that case there really is a character you're playing, but you don't roleplay. You don't pretend like you're an actual real estate mogul. Monopoly doesn't have a story, beyond generally trying to warn against the dangers of capitalism which nobody cares about anymore. After that, RPG just came to mean what that evolved into. Visual novels tend to be much more limited to roleplaying than computer RPGs, but they're not related to them so they're not called that. RPG has come to mean things like gaining experience and leveling up.


lCraxisl

Pong, mario cart, other racing games, fighting games, flight sims.


BaldBear_13

I think RPG means you customize your character to play a specific role (warrior, mage, etc.), and you cannot easily switch roles, so you get attached to the character and their role, or rather chose a role to fit your personality and gameplay style. YOu are also right that many RPGs have a deep story behind them (MMO RPGs are all grind, though). But i think plenty of RPGs do not let you change the story.


PortaAlchemica

A lot of them are, but there are A LOT of sub categories and often times games are referred to by their subcategory. Could even consider role playing game a subcategory. Genres are meant to help the average gamer find a game they might like but they aren't perfect representations of the games themselves. More like shorthand terms for a generalized experience.


trippingfingers

Yeah, RPGs feature story choices.


Dryad_Queen

Not necessarily by any means. JRPGs traditionally have 100% linear stories, and are often extremely linear games overall.


AriaGrill

The point of role playing is that you can make the character be whoever you want to be- past, future, morality/choices, pet peeves, sometimes love life.... regular video games have a set path for them as well as backstory and future.


doc_daneeka

Even under that very broad definition of an RPG, there are still plenty of games that don't fit it. As an example, Tetris.


ToyVaren

Rpg has become a technical term for a certain type of game where you gain levels and stats. Another is Civ type.