One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.
What is an RPG, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?
What It Is: RPG = Role-playing Game
What It Means: Game genres are famously nonsensical, having been developed organically over time rather than according to anything resembling logic. In this case, the term comes from the old Dungeons & Dragons board games that birthed modern video-games. An RPG refers to a Role-Playing Game, which means that it has certain key features; the player inhabits a character which they can customise in appearance and attributes and take out on quests to earn points used to improve the character’s abilities. RPG games usually have a complex lore and back-stories, and are long in terms of content, frequently clocking in a play-length in excess of 100 hours to see all the content there is to see. Though usually of a fantasy setting as in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim or Dragon Age Inquisition, RPGs can be set anywhere, such as in the Mass Effect trilogy, which is set in outer space.
Why You Care: Video-game genre classifications are not worth getting too hung up about. It’s not too bold a statement to say that around 70% of the time, game genres just don’t matter to the average person. The majority of games straddle between multiple genres, leading to such extremely useful sentences as “oh well, its an endless runner action/adventure with FPS segments and social, free-to-play elements.” Uhuh. To a tiny subset of people, this concoction of gibberish and acronyms paints a vivid picture – namely, a description of this game. But for the casual user, it’s just a layer of depth and nerdery you don’t need to know about. The key feature to remember is that an RPG has lots and lots of story, so if the game-player in your house loves getting involved in a good book, RPGs are probably the kind of game they will enjoy most.
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