Playing Roles- The Etymology of RPG's

A new series that tackles issues revolving role-playing games, their history and design, plus some reviews thrown in as well. This week's article, defining what really is an RPG mechanically. Part 1 of 2.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
kalkano1223d ago (Edited 1223d ago )

"Instead, it may better to dissect the origin’s of role-playing game mechanics first, and see where these terms actually came from. As stated earlier games like Wizardry and Akalabeth were first released on Apple II computers in the early 1980’s. Both titles were turn-based dungeon crawlers heavily influenced by pen and paper role-playing games, and were extremely popular with audiences with home computers at the time in the West."

These were not the first RPGs (seems like you're saying they are). It's not easy to find the real first one. But, the first one I ever played was Gateway to Apshai (an action-RPG). I played it on Commodore 64. But, the original game in the series was Temple of Apshai, released in 1979. Even that wasn't the first RPG, but I'm too lazy to look into it more.

kalkano1223d ago

"To compensate for the lack of memory and power on the Famicom, Horii and Nakamura would take specific elements of games such as Wizardry and Ultima and formulate a new gameplay system around it instead of outright copying the tabletop inspired mechanics. Creating accessible menus and a customized level up scheme, Horii’s changes to the standards found in RPGs at the time were highly influential for their innovations to the genre."

This sounds like the ridiculous, regurgitated, "turn-based was a product of technical limitations" argument that is constantly parroted by people who want to make turn-based seem "illegitimate". It's complete nonsense.

Heli891222d ago (Edited 1222d ago )

It doesn't really mention turn-based in the quote above, so i'm not sure where that impression came from.

Not to mention the fact that most dungeon crawlers were turn-based, so stuff like Wizardry would then be "illegitimate" if someone made that assertion.

kalkano1222d ago

I may have simply misinterpreted. Apologies.

kalkano1223d ago

"Well, I will be getting into this in part two, but I find it more useful, if we have to categorize into genres, by going by their mechanics."

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I have no idea when/why JRPG and WRPG became a thing. I've always called them turn-based, turn-based strategy, or action RPGs. Where they were made is irrelevant. When you tell me that something is a JRPG, I still have no idea what kind of game it is.

thorstein1222d ago

Indeed. The only reason W or I should be used is to delineate origin.

Jubez1871221d ago

WRPG you're the characters at the DND table. JRPG you're the DM at the table overseeing an adventure. Easiest way to trace both sides back to the roots.

Also, Japanese alphabet = say more with less letters or characters = more room to tell a story, because text takes up memory.