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December 16th, 2006, 20:51
Huh? So having genres is dehumanizing? Are you insane? So, the next time I go to Mexico, and I ask a Mexican what their nationality is, if they say anything besides “World Citizen” (which is a label), they are prejudiced? Am I prejudiced for thinking Mexicans are Mexican? Am I prejudiced for thinking cats are cats? Or the moon is the moon? Gay men love penis. Is that being bigoted? Video game players love video games? Is that dehumanizing?

You, dear sir, are very confusing and confused.

Either you must be saying the term RPG should not be used, or that every game should be considered or be allowed to be called an RPG. In either case, lets have an example of this relating to nationality (since you somehow think that is a good analogy). Either Mexicans should no longer be called Mexicans, or everyone in the world is and can call him or herself Mexican?

Please articulate.
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December 16th, 2006, 22:13
im not saying it can't be used just that it holds little value/insight into what a game offers. a native mexican is different from a person born in america of mexican heritage but yet they both could look the same, speak spanish and for all purposes be identical but one is an american citizen. obviously that is more than just a label being a us citizen warrants many privlages but it doesn't change who that person is. which is why i relate it to any 'genre'. just because one game has something one would use to define it as an 'rpg' doesn't really matter if allows you the freedom of choosing different 'roles' with moral consequences.

the inescapeable 'prejudice' comes from whatever conclusion we are forced to make in defining something. i'm not advocating that it should or can be otherwise just that any argument or example can always be found to alter the definition of the label/genre.

genres are not really analagous to race, nationality, etc. but what i was trying to compare was the way things are viewed, labeled, categorized. if someone plays only games that are labeled 'rpgs' or only dates people of their own 'race, religion, etc.) they are prejudiced. that doesn't necessarily make them a bad person, just close minded for going by labels. 'rpg' is different from race, religion, etc. ,which sometimes can be exactly defined but other times not. just because someone calls them self a 'insert religion' and goes to church does that make them one if they don't adhere strickly to there faith. there is so much grey with this and other subjects i don't see any agreeance coming from their debate even if every scholar debated them 'til the end of time.

yes this subject does confuse me but anyone claiming to know what exactly defines 'a rpg' will never find enough people to agree with them since the wide variety of games that have used that label have everything and nothing in commmon.
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December 16th, 2006, 23:05
First of all, prejudice means to pre judge. We all prejudge. When you hear the term rpg an image or description pops into your head. When you hear Mexican the same thing. When you hear burrito the same thing. When you hear or see a taco, same thing. We wouldn’t be able to function without preconceptions or prejudices.

Now, bigotry or racism is another storey. It seems to be you are bigoted against people that don’t view things the same way you do, and there is no question you are bigoted against the bigoted. I personally don’t really fit well into a racial label. My mother is a Sicilian born in Africa (Tunisia) and my father is a Cape Verdean born in France. What am I? I’m about a quarter black. When I lived in the NW I was considered black. In the NE, where I’m from and live, I am not considered black. My ethnicity is questionable, but my nationality isn’t. I’m American, no hyphen. For ethnicity I consider myself more Italian than anything else, but really I don’t care. What ever anyone wants to label my ethnicity is fine with me, including so-called derogatory terms.

I really don’t care what race people are, but I can and do judge them on every decision they make including religion, political views, dress, attitude, personality, intelligence, sense of humor, etc. Why? Because I can. It helps me distinguish between those who I would want to be friends with or not.

Someone whose nationality is Mexican can only have the nationality of Mexican by one of two ways: birth or naturalization. It is not confusing to separate nationality from ethnicity. Nationality is a category that makes perfect sense (in 99.9% of the situations). An actual rpg is like nationality, its easy to figure out. Now rpg elements are like ethnicity, when everything starts getting mixed in together it gets confusing. But I could look like a Mexican, act like a Mexican, and seem to be a Mexican, but my nationality will never be Mexican (unless I move there and become naturalized). Nationality is based on fact. Ethnicity is based on opinion (why are Itaians not latinos? Etc. The whole Ethnic/racial category are all based off of nonsense. Unless you break it down to Negroid, Mongoloid, and Caucasoid).

So we can easily say that nationality translates to genre, where ethnicity translates into gameplay elements. But in order for a game to be an rpg it has to be an rpg and can’t not be an rpg. An “action rpg” (really an action game with rpg elements) is of another nationality and has mixed ethnicity.
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December 17th, 2006, 00:21
just becuase you don't mind derogaroty terms, doesn't really give you give you the right to use them on others.

i'm sure gay people everywhere rejoice in your name when you say 'they love penis' numerous times-even if you are gay i'm not sure how you could speak for every gay person. everyones people are there own affairs.

having prejudices like i said is normal, sharing them or acting on them is discrimination. who or what you choose to associate with is 'your' own business but you are the one telling people what an 'rpg' is not. i didn't define it or state what doesn't make it, i said it didn't matter much like what anyones family tree was unless i was interested in the history behind it, which is not the case with 99% of people we meet. so why not break games down into 'elements' like you said, similar to 'qualities' in friends/people we associate with. 'rpg' a word like democrat or republican. yes you can be registered either but i was registered republican for nearly a decade 'til recently and never voted for a single one. its just a name that doesn't define much and wheter someone calls me one or the other its not much concern unless there is an attack involved. i vote for who i believe is the best, and i play what game is the best for me. i'll give a game maybe more of glance if it has 'rpg' tagged on it somehow, but i certainly don't place any expectations from it and will only purchase it based on loads of other reasons rather than that label.

nationality may translate to genre but it still as i said is meaningless since it used to describe a person and game. using your own arguments nationality is unimportant to you, so why then does the term 'rpg' or 'fps', why don't we start up a post where we come up with elements that make up good games. there are "few" elements that could be listed though are universal in every 'rpg' yet not in other genres.
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December 17th, 2006, 01:17
Gay men love penis. If they didn't, they wouldn't be gay. If a gay man hated penis he would be in quite the pickle, wouldn't he? What seperates homosexual men from non-homosexuals? They like other mens penises. I don't see what is confusing about this.

I'll respond to the rest later, I rented Ricky Bobby.
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December 17th, 2006, 01:22
roqua, there is no such word as 'funner', it breaks the logical rules of English grammar!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 17th, 2006, 01:34
We use genres in books and movies just as drawers. Shopkeepers just need labels for shelves.

So why not for games, too ?

Imagine a shopkeeper trying to explain a customer a thing that he refuses to give a label, or worse : Is a mixture of so many things he cannot display it properlly.

What will the customer say ? "Huh ? What is this thing now ? I'm confused."
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December 17th, 2006, 03:47
You're getting pulled into an argument you can't win because you are discussing it on Roqua's terms.

Roqua's definition is black & white and predicated on certain absolutes (mostly that an RPG can't include any elements of player dexterity). If you accept that — well and good. If you don't accept that absolutely, the rest of the discussion is moot.

I don't accept it, because I think genre descriptions are only as useful as the audience's understanding of the term. The greater community knows that Diablo, Baldur's Gate, WoW and Oblivion are all some form of RPG. End of useful discussion. Insisting that Oblivion is an action game and therefore they should go to ActionVault for news on it rather than RPGwatch, won't make sense to most people and would leave everyone confused.

Especially since ActionVault doesn't cover Oblivion, 'cause they know it ain't an action game.

Roqua's law of non-contradiction is a red-herring. If you accept his original premise, there's no need for further discussion. If you don't, the law is irrelevant because there is no contradiction.

Important note: what makes a good RPG is a different discussion.

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December 17th, 2006, 04:56
Haha, Dhruin, you are, of course, totally correct and we've had this entire discussion in the past, but it is always fun to WATCH people take on roqua for the first time!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 17th, 2006, 05:44
It's always fun.

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December 17th, 2006, 15:26
I never actually took either of you on. So let’s have at it. I need a challenge.

“Insisting that Oblivion is an action game and therefore they should go to ActionVault for news on it rather than RPGwatch, won't make sense to most people and would leave everyone confused.”

What about jrpgs? Why aren’t they covered here? Doesn’t that lead to the same confusion? What if actionvault did cover Oblivion? Would they be in the wrong? It is a hybrid game, so both sides should cover it, right? What if a console rpg site that covered all jrpgs also covered Zelda, would that confuse anyone? Zelda is not a jrpg, but has a crossover audience.

Oblivion has a slew of rpg elements, without ever being an actual rpg. Same with bloodlines, etc. An rpg site should cover action games with rpg elements. If you covered only real rpgs you wouldn’t have much to post. You also cover the UFO: Extraterrestrials, which is a TBS. I don’t see people crying that that isn’t called an rpg. Rpgs can coexist alongside non-rpgs is harmony. I’m just factually trying to label things correctly. And a rpg is a rpg is a rpg.

“Roqua's law of non-contradiction is a red-herring. If you accept his original premise, there's no need for further discussion. If you don't, the law is irrelevant because there is no contradiction.”

Thank you for giving me credit for the law, but I didn’t invite it or it’s mathematical proofs. And there is no choice but to accept my original premise. But, for the sake of argument lets say there is a sane way to not accept simple logical fact and move on to example 1) and 2).

Please respond to these two examples. Is my thinking right or wrong? For the group A) and B) example, if there was a LARP site, and not much LARP action going on, and their LARP audience also contained a large number of people who enjoyed the mock battles of ARMA, that site wouldn’t be wrong in covering news about both. After years and years pure mock battles fans might outnumber the larp fans, but the two activities will never fit in the same category. They will always be different, no matter how much wishing and wanting or willful ignorance on the side of the fans of both activities.

You grew up playing pen and paper games, I grew up playing crpgs. Is my introductory wrong about what rpgs do and the need they were created to fill? Or my statement that in movies, books, and most video games you live vicariously through the characters, and in a rpg the character lives vicariously through you?

In pen and paper games, you can play the hack n’ slash style. The DM could use a module, like ToEE, and the players have a straight linear hack n’ slash progression through it, or it could be roleplay heavy and involve little combat. Its up to the players what type of sub-rpg genre the pnp game takes. In a crpg the sub-genre is already decided on, for the most part, by the devs of the game. But, what pnp games will never be is action games, and there will always, always be a total divide between the physical attributes of player and character.

I ask you please, please, respond to all arguments in my first post. I will gladly respond to and address your best arguments. If you make a valid point I will concede the point. If you prove me wrong I will concede the debate and never mention the topic again.

But, I think you will find that my arguments (not including the law of non-contradiction that we are ignoring for now) are correct.
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December 17th, 2006, 15:42
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
roqua, there is no such word as 'funner', it breaks the logical rules of English grammar!!
You are correct. I concede the point. I lose this argument. Because I am wrong and you proved me to be wrong.
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December 17th, 2006, 23:27
Now we just need to address your use of the re-definer's fallacy and strawman!! I'll leave that to Dhruin!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 18th, 2006, 01:07
Why don't you try me out Corwin? I'd especially appreciate you pointing out any strawman's I used. Unless you're scared, in which case I'd fully understand and let you bow out gracefully. But giving it a try could be "more fun."
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December 18th, 2006, 02:49
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
If you prove me wrong I will concede the debate and never mention the topic again.
Okay, if you've put that on the table, I'll risk looking foolish and give this another shot.

In pen and paper games, you can play the hack n’ slash style. The DM could use a module, like ToEE, and the players have a straight linear hack n’ slash progression through it, or it could be roleplay heavy and involve little combat. Its up to the players what type of sub-rpg genre the pnp game takes. In a crpg the sub-genre is already decided on, for the most part, by the devs of the game. But, what pnp games will never be is action games, and there will always, always be a total divide between the physical attributes of player and character.
You can't determine the properties of a category through induction. Even if the early examples of RPGs were all similar in this way, it doesn't follow that the player skill/character skill divorce is a necessary condition for a thing to be an RPG. Categorization is the act of grouping dissimilar things under a label, and choosing those aspects of the things which you will consider to be essential. Just as "any collection of things can be an object", any collection of properties can be a category. People could use the words couch and cow interchangeably, to denote something of roughly the same dimensions and weight as a couch or cow. I'd have no use for that classification, and would favor the terms sofa and bovine instead, but the couch-cow category would be as true as any other social fact. Most people who use the word RPG mean a game with a good number of RPG elements (and you know what those are). You, and a few other people on this site, do not. Neither group is right or wrong. Words don't mean any more than we think they do.
Last edited by abbaon; December 18th, 2006 at 02:55. Reason: Added a "that", bolded "choosing".
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December 18th, 2006, 03:17
"Even if the early examples of RPGs were all similar in this way"

All examples of rpgs are similar in this way

I read, understood, and will give examples in line with your arguement.

We have the category of sparkling wine. A lot of people call this champagne. But in order for it to be actually champagne it has to be made in Champagne. You could have a Star Trek food synthesizer thing that makes a reproduction of champagne that is identical to champagne in every conceivable way, but the one little thing is that it wasn’t made in Champagne, so will never be champagne.

Champagne is just a word (and a place and a thing) but that word has the power to be true or not.

What’s Cognac? What is a centipede? A millipede? Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Who cares? I guess that depends on how much stock and weight you put in the words truth or correct. Is funner a word? Sure, if I use it as one. But is more fun or funner the correct way to express myself in the English language with all those rules it has? Truth and correct are just words. RPG is a string of words. Right and wrong are just words. And it just so happens the word that categorizes my stance is right, and you fall under the category of wrong. We can each think those words mean different things, or nothing more than we think they do. Or you could debate the examples I put up and show me how they are false, proving me wrong in the process.
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December 18th, 2006, 04:18
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
All examples of rpgs are similar in this way

And it just so happens the word that categorizes my stance is right, and you fall under the category of wrong.
Your continual restatement of the incontrovertible truth of your position, along with content-free rhetoric like this "I'm right and you're wrong" bullshit, belie your claim to be discussing this in good faith. You're not open to the possibility that you're wrong. Any further words would be wasted on you. I'm done.
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December 18th, 2006, 06:09
The fundamental problem with your argument, Roqua, is that you refuse to accept the fact that the usage and meaning of words in the english language can change and evolve over time. As much as it may annoy some linguistics purists, if enough people start using a word in a certain way, then the dictionary definition of that word will have to be expanded or revised to reflect the new usage.

As far as computer games are concerned, whether a game is an RPG or not is generally determined by the developers and reviewers. If a game is marketed as an RPG and the majority of sites review it as an RPG, then the majority of gamers will accept it as an RPG. You are certainly not obligated to accept it as such, just as you aren't obligated to accept the modern definition of a word and are perfectly at liberty to continue using its 18th century definition. But your position would serve little purpose, other than to create confusion when communicating with the majority of others who understand the meaning differently.
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December 18th, 2006, 06:49
Unfortunately Geist, you are committing a logical fallacy as well, called Ad Populum!! Just because people say something is an RPG, doesn't make it one!! For years, people said the earth was flat!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 18th, 2006, 10:52
Good point Corwin. Just because the majority believes in a particular thing certainly doesn't make it true. I think there is a difference, though, between facts which can be scientifically proven (which doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility that they can be disproven at some point in the future) and the meaning of words, whose definitions are often ambiguous and can't be precisely defined with logical proofs. No matter how many people contend that the world is flat, it will never become flat, but if enough people call a knife a dagger, it will cease to be a knife and indeed become a dagger since the definition of the dagger has now been expanded to include the knife.

Take the Champagne example that Roqua mentioned.
One dictionary defines Champagne as:
"A white sparkling wine either produced in Champagne or resembling that produced there"
Another defines it simply as:
"Sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France"
Which definition is correct? Since this is a matter of opinion, it is obviously impossible to prove or disprove either one. When faced with situations like this, it makes no sense to try to apply proofs to demonstrate correctness. If we accept that certain things (such as what constitutes an RPG) can't be objectively proven, then the most logical point of reference we have for discussing the subject with others is the definition provided by majority opinion (or possibly the opinion of the so-called authorities). It may be just as valid to discuss the subject based on a definition of our own choosing, but when dealing with language we are often forced to take into account the popular consensus in order to avoid confusion, whether we agree with that consensus or not.
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