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Playing a Role, or Does the Role Play You? @ eToychest

by Dhruin, 2006-07-19 03:02:00
eToychest has an editorial titled Playing a Role, or Does the Role Play You?. There are several items to potentially take issue with but the broad message hits the mark. Let's start with an early snip:
It is perhaps fair to say that the Japanese have been bolder in their approach to the role-playing game - Final Fantasy VIII took a turn for the technological without missing a beat, and Skies of Arcadia seamlessly blended airships and swashbuckling - but even if we stick to our domestic role-playing games - free of giant hair, effeminate male protagonists, and the same story told 12 times over - the genre still reeks of standard openings, closings, transitions, narrative devices and themes.

This is ironic, considering the roots the American role-playing game has in the pencil-and-paper world. For example, Alkabeth, the precursor to Ultima, was totally derivative of Dungeons and Dragons. But while the pencil-and-paper RPG scene rapidly expanded to fit every niche imaginable - horror, intrigue, adventure, and romance - their digital counterparts stayed as close as possible to plate mail and red dragons.

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