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What constitutes a video RPG? Is there any actual role-playing involved?
Our editor Tyler Hislop rejoins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss those video games that are supposed to make you feel like you're contributing to the story, that your choices matter, in which you can maybe, you know, choose to wear a funny hat or just craft potions all day instead of advancing the plot. We compare solo vs. social games, compare video to table-top role playing, think about how we relate to the character we're playing, and more.
We touch on Ultima, Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Horizon Zero Dawn, Skyrim, Fallout, Outward, Death Stranding, Erica, Hellblade: Sakura’s Sacrifice, The Witcher, and more. Also from TV: Bandersnatch, The Guild, and that D&D Key & Peele sketch.
Some sources we looked at included:
- "What Are Role-Playing Games Even? How Are They That?" by Sam Liberty
- "RPGs Took Over Every Video Game Genre" by Marc Nix
- "Why My Videogame Chooses Your Character’s Race and Gender for You" by Garry Newman
- "The History of RPGs" by Richard Cobbett
- History of Western Role-Playing Games on Wikipedia
- Video: The Evolution of RPG Games
- The Psychology of Games podcast and site
This episode includes bonus discussion that you can only hear by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
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