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Topics - Humbert Humbert

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RPG is the acronym of "role-playing game", no? It is used to denote a game with a focus on narrative, and yet RPGs produce some of the worst, most convoluted and shallow stories on the video game market. Often times I play an RPG not to experience its plot, but for the various gameplay systems and opportunities for statistical growth/customization that it affords. Out of almost any other genre, the RPG is most commonly the one that tries to detract players from its narrative by incorporating side quests, hidden collectibles, special conditions, and the dreaded "grind". Its mechanics are typically employed to distract us and artificially extend our play time, usually at the cost of derailing the plot.

So then why do we even refer to this specific genre as role playing games anymore? With titles like Journey, Silent Hill, The Unfinished Swan, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, The Walking Dead, etc. offering much more in the way of dense characters, metaphors, and plot lines why is the RPG even referred to as such? And I'm not suggesting that RPGs haven't produced some of the best video game plots as well - rather, I think these stories stand on their own merits rather than being uplifted by the mechanics associated with role playing games.

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