RPG? or Role Playing Game?

Jul 20, 2011

Gaming has been around for decades in different forms and styles. I have had the fortunate experience to visit several different styles and platforms and shared those moments with gamers of many different age groups and backgrounds. Like anything, it’s always more fun with people you like to be around and gaming is no different.

For those of you that have read some of my reviews or comments, you are probably aware of my love for RPG’s, in fact, love may not do it justice! From an early age I was enthralled by making choices and seeing my action transformed in a new world. My first experience was Final Fantasy and for those “real role players”, don’t worry, my role playing experience doesn’t end with JRPG’s. Final Fantasy has always created a game world I was fond of and told a story that was better than the rest. Those stories, some deeper than others, usually follow a similar recipe. An evil empire oppressing the weak, a young man or women leading their friends against a tyrant and a small element of love and comradery among the party. There isn’t anything wrong with that, I still enjoy those games but the genre of RPG’s really began many many years before that. I am just glad I met some people to introduce me into the world of the original RPG.

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Tolkein, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are just a few fond memories created in paper form decades ago that continue to inspire films, games and stories of new worlds with endless fantasy. This work eventually started taking shape in the gaming world in the early to mid 70’s with the release of the first Dungeon and Dragon’s material published by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. For those of you with limited experience with Dungeon’s and Dragon’s or tabletop gaming in general, this material was created to give early gamers a unique, immersive, story and combat driven experience by allowing 4-6 players an avenue to create and play a game their way; making decisions along the way to do whatever, whenever but with consequences.

RPG’s these days, whether you are talking about Final Fantasy, KOTOR, Fallout or many of the others, do not follow the same view of what a role playing game is or what it consist of as compared to the traditional tabletop rules or content, yet still manage to pull off a good experience. This got me thinking, what style is better in terms of making a marketable game and which is more adept at accomplishing all facets of the role playing experience for the enthusiast?

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After some reflection I have deduced that I feel tabletop gaming is the true, more pure platform for role playing games, however, the new spin put on the genre, commonly referred to by neo role playing fans as “RPG’s”, is better suited in it’s current form for the average gamer willing to sacrifice 40-100 hours of gaming to get a unique experience of fantasy and heroism on a console.

With that being said I wanted to encourage everyone to experience both, the new and the old, and many different forms of gaming in general, whether it be RPG, first person shooter or another favorite of yours, just be sure to include your friends and family, you may be surprised how much you enjoy a change in pace as your perspective on gaming continues to change in years to come.

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