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RPG News - History of CRPGs Part 1 @ Armchair Arcade

by Dhruin, 2006-12-26 08:53:50

A site called Armchair Arcade has posted Part 1 of The History of Computer Roleplaying Games, with this entry covering 1980 - 1983.  Here's an excerpt from the editorial intro:

Although most people would probably think it's a trivial matter to trace the CRPG back to its tabletop, paper-and-pencil based "equivalent," doing so probably obscures more than it reveals about the two genres. As anyone who has actually played D&D is acutely aware, the two games are as  different as playing intramural basketball and College Hoops 2K7. Indeed, the typical "CRPG" is not a "role-playing game" at all, or, if it is, that's generally the least distinctive thing about it. After all, you "play a role" when you play PAC-MAN or SPACE INVADERS, and even in games like Tetris you're playing a role--the unseen force that causes those falling blocks to shift and rotate. It's probably more accurate to describe first-person "interactive fiction" games like Zork or Myst as a "role-playing games," since in those games the player literally assumes an important fictional role within the game. Likewise, a first-person shooter like Half-Life seems to come much closer to the ideal of "playing a role" than a game like Icewind Dale, in which you only indirectly control a whole group of characters.

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