Role-Playing Game (RPG)
Definition - What does Role-Playing Game (RPG) mean?
A role-playing game (RPG) is a genre of video game where the gamer controls a fictional character (or characters) that undertakes a quest in an imaginary world. Defining RPGs is very challenging due to the range of hybrid genres that have RPG elements. Traditional role-playing video games shared three basic elements:
- Levels or character statistics that could be improved over the course of the game
- A menu-based combat system
- A central quest that runs throughout the game as a storyline
Modern and hybrid RPGs do not necessarily have all of these elements, but usually feature one or two in combination with elements from another genre.
Techopedia explains Role-Playing Game (RPG)
Video game RPGs have their origins in the paper and pen role-playing games pioneered by Dungeons & Dragons. These were defined games with clear rules. The video game RPGs started out very similar to paper-and-pen games, minus the dice and with the addition of animated battles, but with the turn-based menu combat intact. Since then, the genre has been broadened to include:
- Action/RPG: Games where battles are real-time, button mashing affairs
- Strategy/RPG: Games where battles take place on a map and character units are deployed against opponents
- Adventure/RPGs: Games where the action elements are combined with items and special weapons the character collects along the way
- Online RPGs: These are multiplayer games that mix many elements and players over a shared world in what is essentially an endless RPG.
The popularity of the role-playing concept – becoming someone else, somewhere else – assures that many more variations on the theme have yet to emerge.