I overheard these children in my school’s gymnasium the other day discussing just what makes a game an RPG, and it kind of made me laugh. To them, a role-playing game is a game in which you name your main character, you are able to alter the storyline, and you take turns battling. So, by their logic, none of the games in the Legend of Zelda series can be considered RPGs, nor can Secret of Mana or Super Mario RPG. This got me thinking about what the true definition of a role-playing game really is. After looking back at all of the RPGs that I’ve beaten, I realized that the number of such games is embarrassingly small, and thus I’m probably no expert on RPGs. So I decided to pop on over to the Chrono Cross boards on GameFaqs to ask a few people who might be what their definition of a role-playing game would be.
Unfortunately, they weren’t much help. One poster said that a “plot and save points” are the elements that make up an RPG. Another said “something that steals too much of my time. A third said “Rocked Propelled Grenade”, which might have been helpful if I were trying to decipher the meaning of the acronym “RPG”, but such was not my mission. One other long-winded poster said that “what defines an RPG is an engrossing plot. Something that thickens.” So, basically, nobody has any idea what an RPG is. Do you? Let me know!
P.S. A devoted fan set up a GameCola message board here. Do with it what you will.