"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."
Every game can be an RPG if you let it.
Now before you get all “huh?” on me, let me explain.
What does RPG stand for?
I’ll give you a second to answer…
If you answered Role Playing Game, you’re correct!
Ok, ok I know that was easy, though maybe one person might have thought Rocket Propelled Grenade.
Now here’s the tougher question, what does role playing game mean?
Most people’s answers would probably be something like this:
"A game where you pick a character and level up your stats and get new upgrades and XP and stuff."
This answer is wrong.
If that were true it would be a PCLUSNUXPG.
I don’t think so.
The essence of a role playing game has nothing to do with how much loot you can carry or how much XP you earn, but instead it’s about how you take on a role.
While leveling up and gathering loot may be integral parts of games that brand themselves as RPGs, when it really comes down to it, what makes an RPG an RPG is the role that you take on and identify with.
This may be a revelation to some of you or old news to others, take it how it is.
When you think of RPG as meaning the way you identify with the character you’re playing as, rather than as how the mechanics of the game are set up, it can changes the way you play games for the better.
You can make almost any game an RPG (I say almost because I’m having a hard time picturing games like Pac Man or Tetris with much connection to the characters).
You can make racing games into RPGs. When I play games like DiRT instead of just focusing on progressing through the game, I like to put myself in the place of the driver. It can be fun to make up your own stories and motivations behind a race. The races themselves become more exciting this way too.
Imagination is the key.
Don’t worry, imagination isn’t just for kids. It’s a great tool for enhancing your gaming experience.
Online multiplayer games can be Role Playing Games. When I play Red Dead Redemption online I like to come up with motivations for my character rather than just shooting people for the XP. It’s a lot more fun to pretend I’m some cocaine addicted professor out to kill all of the bandits and gang members in the wild west than it is to just grease enemies for the sake of getting XP.
Playing Battlefield or even (god forbid) Call of Duty? You can do the same with games like that. Put yourself in the shoes of a soldier rather than a gamer. You’ll be more motivated to stay alive for one thing, and the whole experience will be more exciting for you if you put yourself into a role.
So don’t be afraid to use a little imagination to really put yourself into a role. It makes the game more fun.
More fun means more enjoyment, and more enjoyment means more happiness, and who couldn't use more of that?
So next time you’re playing a game, any game...
Make it a Role Playing Game.
Enjoy your game.
Enjoy your life.