A role-playing game (RPG) or computer role-playing game (CRPG) is a game in which the player assumes the role of a character and controls their appearance, personality, race/gender, choices, stats/skills or any number of other attributes. The player is expected to develop and play this character as they see fit within a narrative. RPGs have traditionally placed a heavy focus on character development, story-telling, exploration and immersion in the world or setting.
Video game RPGs can trace their origins back to pen-and-paper RPGs. Older video game RPGs borrowed heavily from their paper inspiration and were very reliant upon status effects, elemental strengths/weaknesses, stats and how one distributed points among their stats in order to build a character(s) as they saw fit. Some games featured "perception checks" which enabled the player to disarm traps, persuade, intimidate, etc if their skill/stat level was sufficient. Most non-RPG games now include RPG elements to some extent or another, and many modern RPGs have "lightened up" on the pen-and-paper RPG features.
There are two common sub-genres that are often cited. Both of them are named after their country of origin and denote a specific gameplay style or mechanics. This naming convention has occasionally been the center of confusion and debate, arising from the fact that not all JRPGs are from Japan and not all WRPGs are from the west.
Japanese Role-playing games (JRPG): Also sometimes called (albeit rarely), Eastern Role-Playing games. They typically feature multi-character parties with heavy stat management and strategy.
Western Role-playing games (WRPG): These may feature various graphical perspectives and styles of play, such as real-time and turn-based time-keeping systems, axonometric and first-person graphical projections, and single-character or multi-character parties.
- VGG: RPG genre fan