Thread: A Thought
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June 18th, 2009, 14:26
Today (about 10 minutes ago, in fact) I came across the idea that playing a role is rather an intellectual thing.

You know, it's essentially about playing in a theatre. It needs some points in intellicence to be able to act - I mean to really act like a professional actor !

This is very much true for P&P role-playing. There, the playing of a role is much closer and nearer to real theatralical acting than in an computer/video game.

With a video game, the actual acting is much more difficult, because the scenery on the screen is so much more away from the "watcher", the player, in fact.

Here, we must even distinguish between isometric view and 3D view in RPDS on computers and on consoles.

This separation is necessary, imho, because playing a role - acting a role - in isometric view is imho much, much more difficult than in 3D view, where you can rather "dive into" the scenery. Become part of it.
Isometric view is almost like playing with table top figures on a table top battlefield.

In my opinion, this is the reason why action-RPGs are so often in isometric view, and (as a tendency) rather "real" acting RPGs often in 3D view.

If I follow this thought, this leads me to believe that such a typical action-RPG is rather like a table top game on screen. You move a figure through hordes of enemies following special rule, but the imho most important part to it is that one cannot "dive into it", so to say. Becoming part of the scenery is much more difficult than in 3D view where you have the enemy standing directly before you - standing eye-to-eye.

Which could explain the nature of combat-heavy action-RPGs : Since table top games are normally about nothing but fighting, they are kind of fighting games … Especially in isometric view. This explains why the actual amount of real acting in an action-role-playing-game is so much reduced.

So, back to the topic, this is why I think that real acting in an role playing game is something imho rather intellectial : Because it needs many more skills than a table top game, which is rather about strategy.

Of course, a good strategy game can be very challenging intellectual-wise, but real acting is imho a completely different beast. For real acting, you need to have control over

- your voice
- your mimics
- your body in general
- your gestics
- your look (clothes, especially)
- sometimes your make up (playing as an orc, for example, or as a goblin), too
- quickly determine what kind of reactions your character should have and express

This all is heavily reduced while playing any kind of action game, and not needed at all if you're playing a table top game.

This is why I consider a real role-playing game as (as a tendency) rather an intellectual thing.

And I think, that this should - if true - be expressed through the development and the marketing of an role-playing game.

And finally, this is what evoked my thought :

Quotation from the Larian forums :

It#S a shame. I understand the walls for quest reasons, but actually bringing death and destrcution to gorund units was what i was looking forward to. Im sure the Roleplayingpart will be awesome, but i am not really a roleplaying-fan, i was interested in the flying part. Well guess this means i wont get the game right from the start…
Maybe those limits will be removed later with a mod or something.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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