Back to games. It has been spoken by the prophet that the future of shooters is RPGs. What does that mean?
I was having this discussion with someone at the last IGDA meeting. I was talking about how soulless RPGs have become and that WoW had increased the problem of context-free grinding. Her response was that grinding is a fundamental aspect of RPGs. I took that as a challenge, and started listing some of my favorite RPGs where grinding was unnecessary. Her response was that those weren’t really RPGs. I guess if your definition of RPG is that it is a game with grinding then, sure, grinding is a fundamental aspect of RPGs.
I bring this up to point out that the definition of an RPG changes greatly from player to player. “RPG-elements” is even more loaded requiring an additional layer of abstraction. Madden has player attributes, leveling-up and so forth. Is it an RPG?
So what does it mean that RPGs are the future of shooters? More story/dialog? Less reliance of twitch mechanics? Experience points? Grinding? Classes? Special items? Blond androgynous heros?
Genres are collections of aesthetics and mechanics. I believe that the term “RPG” has become an empty vessel and no longer contains any sort of mapping to “role-playing” or even specific sets of mechanics.