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Default The RPG Podcast - What Is The True Definition of a Role-Playing Game?

May 20th, 2013, 21:07
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Except I think the definition IS widely applicable, but as HiddenX pointed out, it is an implication relationship rather than an equivalency.
I'm not talking about application. As we just witnessed - it can be applied to X-Com, but we don't really consider it an RPG - because character development and C&C are minor aspects of the game. A lot of people would agree with that.

That's a highly useful definition to you?

As for your implication nonsense, that has no bearing. HiddenX just established that, logically, when a game fulfills 1-6 - it's a CRPG and apparently we don't agree. If the definition is to be of ANY real use - the concept of logical implication and equivalence, in this case, is about the possibility of a CRPG being more than "just" 1-6.

So, if 1-6 = CRPG, then CRPG >= 1-6. As in, a CRPG could have a tetris mini-game in it, for instance - meaning it's more than what makes a CRPG.

It's true that many don't consider all those elements equally important and that games without some of them could still be a CRPG - again, demonstrating lack of equivalence. But that's exactly my point - and why it's of limited use.

People are different and so is their idea of what makes for an RPG.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:25
It seems to me we can't possibly start to think about agreeing on the definition of 'RPG' since we can't even agree what the definition of 'definition' is.

"I am not interested in good; I am interested in new, even if this includes the possibility of it's being evil"
(LaMonte Young, 1962)
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May 20th, 2013, 21:29
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
It seems to me we can't possibly start to think about agreeing on the definition of 'RPG' since we can't even agree what the definition of 'definition' is.
Indeed, I'm certainly confused how it can be a definition if you can't reverse it
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May 20th, 2013, 21:35
Well I havent' played the NEW XCOM, so I can't comment on that. The interactions and relationships with NPCs… are they meaningful, or are they just quest / research facades for multiple choice menus?

Certainly the OLD XCOM fails the criteria, and leads to a rather useless conclusion that it only MAY be an RPG. This why you have to weigh those criteria to make it more useful for those RPGs that don't meet all of them. Still applicable though to identify RPGS that meet all criteria, I think.

More importantly haven't played any games that met all the criteria and were not an RPG. So it seems like very sound criteria to me.

Again this is implication NOT equivalency. It identifies the subset of all RPGs that meet all the criteria correctly as RPGs, but doesn't incorrectly rule out RPGs that don't meet all the criteria. A good start.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:46
If features have to be "meaningful" - then we water the use of it down even further.

When I talk about use - I talk about use as a definition.

Let's say there are 10000 games that are generally considered RPGs. If only 5000 of them match all the criteria - then it's utterly useless as a definition, because it's completely corrupt.

As for what else you can do with it - I don't know. I won't deny that it's useful in some way or another, and I don't mean to bring it down.

I'm strictly talking about using it as a definition.

If I was forced to try and come up with my own definition, I'd start in the reverse order.

As in, I'd focus on as few criteria as possible.

As in any game that emphasizes character creation/progression would be an RPG to me.

To me, that would be more useful.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:00
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
As in, I'd focus on as few criteria as possible.

As in any game that emphasizes character creation/progression would be an RPG to me.
That is a logical starting point, but we will have many game falling under this criterion. In which case we need another definition that encompasses the remaining criteria: 'hardcore rpg' or 'old school rpg' maybe?
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May 20th, 2013, 22:02
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
That is a logical starting point, but we will have many game falling under this criterion. In which case we need another definition that encompasses the remaining criteria: 'hardcore rpg' or 'old school rpg' maybe?
Well, it's just a personal attempt to define the genre in the broadest possible way.

As for subgenre, that's a different matter. There are so many of those
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May 20th, 2013, 22:14
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
If features have to be "meaningful" - then we water the use of it down even further.
Actually, quite the opposite. A feature in name without meaning is just the kind of bullshit that makes definitions meaningless subjective fluff.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Let's say there are 10000 games that are generally considered RPGs. If only 5000 of them match all the criteria - then it's utterly useless as a definition, because it's completely corrupt.
Haha. "Utterly useless"? "Corrupt"? Classification systems aren't corrupt. People can be corrupt, organizations can be corrupt. People who misuse and misdefine classification systems to meet their own ulterior motives are corrupt.

It's not a useless definition, if it correctly identifies half of all RPGs, and more importantly doesn't identify false RPGs. Then we can apply more quantitative criteria to identify the RPGs that fell through.

As an aside, for someone who prides themselves in thinking beyond black and whites and absolutes, you sure like to attach nonsensical absolute and extreme labels like "utterly useless" and "Corrupt". Doesn't make you very believable.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:15
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Again this is implication NOT equivalency. It identifies the subset of all RPGs that meet all the criteria correctly as RPGs, but doesn't incorrectly rule out RPGs that don't meet all the criteria. A good start.
The choice and consequences requirement seems to rule out Ultima VII. But good luck telling me it's not an rpg.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:20
Do you understand the difference between implication and equivalency? It doesn't seem so.

As HiddenX said, this criteria correctly identifies RPGs, but doesn't rule out other games from being RPGs.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:35
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Actually, quite the opposite. A feature in name without meaning is just the kind of bullshit that makes definitions meaningless subjective fluff.
Yeah, that's why we have dictionaries - because we don't actually use them

Good one, Thrasher.

Haha. "Utterly useless"? "Corrupt"? Classification systems aren't corrupt. People can be corrupt, organizations can be corrupt. People who misuse and misdefine classification systems to meet their own ulterior motives are corrupt.
Here's a "subjective" and "meaningless" definition from a dictionary:

cor·rupt [kuh-ruhpt] Show IPA
adjective
1.
guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.
2.
debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.
3.
made inferior by errors or alterations, as a text.
4.
infected; tainted.
5.
decayed; putrid.

The definition is made inferior because it's in error. It's tainted by its flaws of being incomplete by a wide margin.

Obviously, you don't agree that it's in error or flawed - but I do, which is why I use the word corrupt. Logically, you'd have to accept that - but I don't expect you to concede that point.

It's not like you can be wrong about anything.

It's not a useless definition, if it correctly identifies half of all RPGs, and more importantly doesn't identify false RPGs. Then we can apply more quantitative criteria to identify the RPGs that fell through.
A definition identifying HALF of what it's supposed to define is not of limited use?

Ehm, ok - sure Thrasher

As an aside, for someone who prides themselves in thinking beyond black and whites and absolutes, you sure like to attach nonsensical absolute and extreme labels like "utterly useless" and "Corrupt". Doesn't make you very believable.
I don't pride myself in thinking that way - I just do.

As for being believable - that doesn't concern me when it comes to you. People would have to agree with you for that, and I often don't.

I can't say I consider that much of a problem
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May 20th, 2013, 22:55
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Do you understand the difference between implication and equivalency? It doesn't seem so.

As HiddenX said, this criteria correctly identifies RPGs, but doesn't rule out other games from being RPGs.
Ok, my last post wasn't very effective. I understand that you can state that just because the system didn't identify it as an rpg, it isn't excluding it from being so. However, even if that is a "good start", it doesn't seem very useful in the long run. I'm not in any rush to start declaring how to determine what an rpg is, because the genre is capable of shifting and evolving.
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May 20th, 2013, 22:58
in as much that character creation and progression appears undoubtedly the number one core element, it is in fact no greater or lesser that the other two core elements because they are all equally needed in a RPG.

Stats control distribution, level ups, skill development, shops, armour weapons, alignment, exp gain per non quest combat and other similar related are all sub-elements of the character creation/progression core element.

*Storyline* is the next core RPG essential element, the main plot and all than it encompasses, dialogue choice and critical path selection, cut scenes, narratives, tomes, lore, anything that influences the storyline direction, progression and outcome are all sub elements of the storyline core element.

We have a rough draft collation so far of two core elements:-

1. Character creation and progression.
2. Storyline.
3. ?
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May 20th, 2013, 23:05
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
in as much that character creation and progression appears undoubtedly the number one core element, it is in fact no greater or lesser that the other two core elements because they are all equally needed in a RPG.

Stats control distribution, level ups, skill development, shops, armour weapons, alignment, exp gain per non quest combat and other similar related are all sub-elements of the character creation/progression core element.

*Storyline* is the next core RPG essential element, the main plot and all than it encompasses, dialogue choice and critical path selection, cut scenes, narratives, tomes, lore, anything that influences the storyline direction, progression and outcome are all sub elements of the storyline core element.

We have a rough draft collation so far of two core elements:-

1. Character creation and progression.
2. Storyline.
3. ?
They're not equally needed in my opinion. I don't strictly need story for a game to qualify as an RPG - as I'm fine with calling something like League of Legends an RPG. Another example could be something like Mount and Blade without the random bits of text that's in place of a storyline. EvE Online would be another example - because there's no actual storyline - just a bunch of optional missions with minimal text. Most people play EvE completely ignoring the text.

But we're talking about a personal definition and I would never talk about LoL as an RPG to other people, because I'm aware that my personal criteria is not going to cover it for a lot of people.

If you want to try and create an "objective" definition - I wish you good luck with that
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May 20th, 2013, 23:06
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Here's a "subjective" and "meaningless" definition from a dictionary:

cor·rupt [kuh-ruhpt] Show IPA
adjective
1.
guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.
2.
debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.
3.
made inferior by errors or alterations, as a text.
4.
infected; tainted.
5.
decayed; putrid.

The definition is made inferior because it's in error. It's tainted by its flaws of being incomplete by a wide margin.
I think you better learn how to use a dictionary, before you start quoting them. Uh no, that's the wrong application of corrupt. To be corrupted it has to be good first, then an error introduced. How was HiddenX's definition first good and then altered to become corrupt? eh? This is about "meaning" not subjective labels.

So yeah you are being illogical in your use of the word corrupt.

Also, forget that you said "utterly useless", even though it correctly identifies 50% of RPGs. For the other 50% it says "I don't know" which is a hell of lot better than criteria that incorrectly identifies games as RPGs. I'd rather have a criteria that explicitly says "I don't know" rather than naming everything under the sun an RPG that has at least 1 weak RPG element. This is the sort of crap we get in gaming "journalism". And is why I keep saying we need more quantitative criteria to catch the other 50% or what have you.

EDIT: BTW, I think the criteria correctly identifies much more than 50% of all RPGs, but I can know you would prefer to be negative about anything objective.
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May 20th, 2013, 23:13
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I think you better learn how to use a dictionary, before you start quoting them. Uh no, that's the wrong application of corrupt. To be corrupted it has to be good first, then an error introduced. How was HiddenX's definition first good and then altered to become corrupt? eh?
I'm not talking about your own private definition of corrupt, but the dictionary meaning. That's the one quoted and where my usage of the word matches perfectly.

HiddenX definition was "good" in how you can go one way (even though you can't, really), but when you reverse it, it's not working anymore. It's CORRUPT. It's a CORRUPT definition. Definitions have to be complete - or at least resemble something complete.

In this exact same way, people talk about corrupt legal systems. Legal systems can be made with good intentions and considered "good" - and end up becoming corrupt when they're put to practical use - from something entirely theoretical.

You can go on fantasizing about not being wrong - as I know you will, but I think you'd be the only one really buying your bullshit

Also, forget that you said "utterly useless", even though it correctly identifies 50% of RPGs. For the other 50% it says "I don't know" which is a hell of lot better than criteria that incorrectly identifies games as RPGs. I'd rather ahve a criteria that explcityly says "I don't know" rather than naming everything under the sun an RPG that has at least 1 weak RPG element. This is the sort of crap we get in gaming "journalism". Andis why I keep saying we need more quantitative criteria to catch the other 50% or what have you.
Why are you talking about my own personal opinion as something I've suggested others should use? How many times do I need to repeat myself about it being a PERSONAL PRIVATE SUBJECTIVE ATTEMPT.

I'm aware that you prefer the one by HiddenX - but why do you think that matters to me?
Last edited by DArtagnan; May 20th, 2013 at 23:38.
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May 20th, 2013, 23:44
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not talking about your own private definition of corrupt, but the dictionary meaning. That's the one quoted and where my usage of the word matches perfectly.
As I pointed out to you, which will stand repeating since you didn't get it the first time, the definition in that dictionary, which BTW, is not one with any obvious pedigree, does not agree with how you are using it. I know English isn't your first language, but "made inferior", in this case means changed to become inferior, not created inferior from the start. You usage is far from "perfect". It's not completely incorrect, just mostly.

Something is rotten in Denmark again, as becomes apparent when someone dares to correct you.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Why are you talking about my own personal opinion as something I've suggested others should use?
haha. Really? So you are just posting here hoping you convince no one? Can you be any more disingenuous? And then more thinly veiled insults? Not only is something rotten in Denmark, it's evil as well.
Last edited by Thrasher; May 21st, 2013 at 00:08.
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May 21st, 2013, 00:02
DArt - sometimes I think you a real weird guy. An implication cannot be "reversed" it's a one way street.

I've played ca. 200 "so called" crpgs in my life and most of them (>85%) can be identfied with my definition as a "real crpg". 15% fail one or more criteria and are games with some rpg-elements. Adventures, strategie-games, tactic-games or shooters with some rpg-elements.

You can measure it more exactly with my CRPG-Meter if you like.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; May 21st, 2013 at 00:23.
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May 21st, 2013, 00:02
3. Exploration.

This includes quests, both main and sub, interactivity with the game world with other npc's, encounters with both npc's and objects, travel, puzzles, artifacts, loot, quest items and all similar things found due to moving and searching through the game world map - and where interactivity results in advancing the game progression in some way..

Conclusion:-

The three core elements required to constitute toward defining a RPG (in no particular order)are:-

1. Character creation and progression.
2. Storyline.
3. Exploration.

I have tried walking where others refuse to tread.
Regards from Wulf.
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May 21st, 2013, 00:18
Wulf in the CRPG-Meter your Exploration is splitted to NPC-Interaction, Gameworld and Manipulation. Combat is added.

CRPG-Meter-categories:

Characters,
Story,
NPC-Interaction,
Gameworld,
Manipulation,
Combat

All categories (except combat) are essential for a crpg.
Non-combat crpgs are rare.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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