chapter  6
16 Pages

Single-Player Computer Role-Playing Games

WithDouglas Schules, Jon Peterson, Martin Picard

This chapter discusses the origins of computer role-playing games (CRPG), traces their expansion across platforms and cultures, and examines their contributions to the development of hybrid and new genres. These themes are influenced by advancements in technological capabilities because they have impacted how CRPGs have evolved. The chapter describes from a variety of academic, industry, and fan sources in order to present a more fully informed picture of the form and its importance. Early scholarship on CRPGs often defines them from the perspective of gameplay mechanics. Thus, CRPGs were defined by the existence of elements such as a formal levelling system, randomness, and quantification of characters. CRPGs are comprised of a seemingly endless variety of sub-types or categories that blend the mechanical elements of CRGPs with those of other video game genres. Perhaps the most significant contribution of CRPGs to role-playing games as a whole is their willingness to experiment with the gaming mechanics that comprise them.