The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part I: The Early Years (1980-1983)

Matt Barton writes: Welcome, brave adventurer, to the first of my in-depth feature articles exploring the history of our favorite computer game genre: The Computer Role-Playing Game, or the CRPG. For many avid gamers, the CRPG is the perfect storm of gameplay, story, and strategy. Whether we're talking about a randomized "dungeon crawler" like Rogue or a story-driven game like Betrayal in Krondor, a click-fest like Diablo or a stat-crunching Pool of Radiance, the CRPG has always enjoyed a tremendous appeal. Even today, when the first-person shooter and sports games seem to have crushed all opposition, everyday millions of players login to World of Warcraft, and each new installment in the Zelda series sends ripples throughout the entire game industry. Whether acknowledged or not, the CRPG will always play a major role in computer and console gaming. The CRPG is the spine of the electronic gaming industry--and it's not hard to see why. You just can't have more fun with a computer or a console than when you're engrossed in a well-crafted CRPG. But where did the CRPG come from? From what deep, dank dungeon did they crawl? How has the genre evolved into the amazing games we enjoy today?

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NexGen3453d ago (Edited 3453d ago )

Have not evolved from the pencil and paper experiments to what we see today. Historical value aside, these games offered little and did not expand the genre. The strange people that played the pencil and paper d&d are the ones who got excited over these as well. RPG's of today are not just miles ahead technology wise, they are far beyond these offerings in term of purpose and target audience.

I never could stand most of these games, and neither could many people...that is why they changed so drastically (to become significant) or were left behind, relegated to memory alone.

Today's RPG games are not even based off of these old attempts at entertainment. It doesn't save the failed genre of "ancient computer games" from the gaming frontier simply by linking them to common elements of today's games. They are not the same, in spirit or in the context of generational gaming.