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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Name:
Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

An Ex-RPGamer

I am a gamer. Computer and console... I've played a lot of games. Enough to think that I'd know what I mean when I say I'm an RPGamer, or Role-Playing Game-r.

But I realised only recently that I had the genre all wrong. See, I thought that Role-Playing Games were about playing as characters, and uncovering stories - that's what I enjoy about games.

FPS (First-person Shooter) games are not focussed on stories. Combat games are not focussed on stories. Racing games are not focussed on stories. Each of these genres, and all others that I can name, have a specific twist of gameplay that gives them their name. First-person shooting games are 'about' simulated shooting. Combat games are about pretending to be in combat. Racing games are about the racing.

Role-playing games, it turns out, are about leveling up. Do something (usually fight monsters), gain points, use points to improve your avatar (your game-world representative). This is what people play the game for.

I shouldn't be surprised. It's just that I've thought about the phrase 'role-playing game' and could only conclude that the game was to 'play a role'. Sounds like virtual acting. And that sounds like fun to me. You can currently 'play the role' of a character within the storyline of a game, but I'd love to have a game where you have the freedom to fully explore the possibilities of a self-created personality.

But as RPGs are focussed neither on playing a role nor telling a story, it suddenly gets a lot more difficult to find games that I will enjoy.

3 Comments:

Blogger Casyn said...

What's happened to Draic? You still out there Draic?

2:28 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

I recommend Vice City ... it's a little of all those game styles rolled into one (and in a good way). You also get to be the bad guy. Not "a" bad guy—THE bad guy!

10:06 pm  
Blogger Draic said...

Hey, you're right! But I didn't actually say I liked combat, racing and shooting games, Ben! And I kind of object to the GTAs on principle. It's a fantastic concept, but I don't feel the urge to wreak chaos and destruction on the poor virtual city. On the other hand, I shouldn't knock it until I've tried it... things have probably changed slightly since GTA 1!

11:42 pm  

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