6 comments on “Isn’t Every Game An RPG?

  1. To me an RPG is a game in which you can actively shape your character. I.e. add stats and level up in a way that you choose and which makes you character unique. Dialogue choices can contribute to this.
    The difference with the likes of Uncharted is that everyone’s Nathan Drake has the same abilities and the same dialogue.
    I guess the problem comes with the term Role-Playing, since you role play in every game, like you said. A more accurate term would be a build-your-own-character game or BYOCG, but that doesn’t role off the tongue as well.

  2. This is a really interesting read! I agree with you that most games are essentially RPG’s and I would argue that the RPG’s we are used to have gained that title because there is still an aversion to the term ‘fantasy’, which a lot of RPG’s are but game developers may be afraid to define their game’s as solely fantasy in case it scares off potential buyers.

  3. Good write up. I disagree though that all games are role playing games. Firstly due to the games that simply feature no characters like match three puzzle games, or games which the player character is undefined such as many RTS games. Role playing games are those games with the main focus of assuming the role of a character and the immersion that follows. Most games do, as you say, involve “playing a role”, but if that is not the main focus of the game, it is not a role playing game. For example, the latest Batman game featured vehicular sequences, but is by no means a driving game (however it is one I could see being called a role playing game). Call of Duty has you assuming the role of a soldier, but the focus of the game is shooting, with the role playing only being an excuse to shoot, therefore the game is a shooter instead of an RPG.

  4. This was very well written, and had never thought of it in that way before. I was all for completely agreeing with your stance on this until I read William Watlington’s post, and I must say he makes some very good points as well. So like he said yes a lot of the games out there can be considered RPG in addition to their other game types, but there are several types of games out there that can’t be considered an RPG, the most obvious being puzzle games (as there are no characters). Very good read though and a great article.

    • For me I think it’s a matter of definition. Never quite understood the singular perspective that defines an Rpg. But I’m certainly not going to argue with William Watlingtons compelling counter argument. Just love these little debates.

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