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#1 Edited by pinner458 (1029 posts) -

I was looking at the reviews and stuff in college on Tuesday morning when they all hit, seeing some video footage the guy on the computer beside me asked what it was, obviously I said it was this new South Park game, he said yeah but what is it and I said it was an RPG, to my complete shock his response was "What's an RPG?" A 21 year old dude, same as myself, who I kind of like and doesn't seem disconnected from pop culture or anything, and he didn't know what an RPG was. I guess he's not really into games but COME ON!

#2 Posted by e30bmw (370 posts) -

I fail to see the issue here. If you don't play games, why would you know what an RPG is?

#3 Posted by CaLe (4221 posts) -

I didn't know what an RPG was until I was 14 or 15. I can see someone going longer than that, even if they like games.

#4 Posted by FriendlyPhoenix (527 posts) -

I would imagine that most people who aren't into games don't have a damn idea what an RPG is.

#5 Posted by pinner458 (1029 posts) -

@e30bmw: There is this girl in our class that doesn't play games and she knows. Its just weird for a 21 year old male to not know.

#6 Edited by RazielCuts (3062 posts) -

I'd hardly say the term 'RPG' was in the pop culture vernacular. And I doubt even most of the average users who CoD every year know what an 'FPS' is, they just know its the shooty thing that they like.

I feel this is actually going to be an issue with most people picking up South Park though, they'll see the South Park name and go 'Ah yeah, I like that' and when they get into it will be like, 'Whats this combat? This is weird.' My friend loves South Park and the closest he's come to an RPG is Zelda so him playing this is actually quite different to what he's used to, even if it does seem like a pretty simple Mario RPG style game.

#7 Edited by mikey87144 (1989 posts) -

That is weird. To not have picked that up at any point seems impassable. He didn't know anyone who played Pokemon? Not one who played WoW? Not one friend who dabbled in Skyrim?

#8 Posted by ShaggE (7095 posts) -

You'd think rocket-propelled grenades would be pretty common knowledge.

#9 Posted by Zevvion (2938 posts) -

This is a matter of knowledge, not intellect. If he's 21 and can't figure out how many magazines he will get this year with his subscription that is a weekly issue, that would be weird. But with knowledge the thing is, you need to be told in one way or another. Whether that is reading it or hearing it from someone else. If he hasn't been told, he doesn't know. You say he didn't know, therefor he hasn't been told yet. It's really that simple.

'RPG' is a popular term in gaming only since the last generation believe it or not. And most people play games, it really hasn't hit the mainstream as much as you think. The most popular games are still the pre-installed card games on Windows, mobile games, The Sims and Call of Duty. I dare bet there are some people who won't even know all those. Let alone more specific stuff like RPG's. It's not that weird that he doesn't know.

#10 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6270 posts) -

I don't think I knew what the term Rpg meant for years as a kid even though I'd played plenty of them. It's kind of weird in my case, but if he's not really into games I don't think it's that strange.

#11 Posted by MiniPato (2807 posts) -

I wouldn't expect everyone to know what an RPG is. I know shit about sports, don't know what 99% of the terms are in football or baseball. Know nothing of players and teams. And you hear about sports all the time on the internet, TV, and just being around people. And yet I've absorbed none of it. If it's something you're not particularly interested in, you simply don't pay attention to it or retain it.

#12 Edited by Milkman (17847 posts) -

He's in the majority. Not that weird at all.

#13 Posted by Glottery (1498 posts) -

RPGs are those things ON THE ROOFTOP, right?

#14 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (4659 posts) -

@e30bmw: There is this girl in our class that doesn't play games and she knows. Its just weird for a 21 year old male to not know.

He could of been Amish. An RPG is just a day on the farm for them.

#15 Edited by pinner458 (1029 posts) -

@mikey87144: Great points there, I remember Skyrim being HUGE with the mainstream when it came out.

#16 Posted by ZolRoyce (1025 posts) -

@glottery said:

RPGs are those things ON THE ROOFTOP, right?

Right! And you have to shoot them before they get a chance to fire! Otherwise you're having a baaaad fucking time man.
Probably gonna have to restart the last checkpoint and everything.

#17 Posted by Darji (5412 posts) -

@pinner458: It is pretty common. People even believe that Mass Effect is a RPG while in reality it is a shooter with RPG elements.

#18 Posted by rentfn (1374 posts) -

I think I have friends that don't know what an RPG is. Do you know what the Infield Fly rule is?? To each their own.

#19 Posted by SSully (4642 posts) -

@shagge said:

You'd think rocket-propelled grenades would be pretty common knowledge.

Most people I know think of that when they hear the term, not role playing game. I always have to elaborate on the term when I am describing a game to a non gamer(ugh that term) friend.

#20 Edited by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

Nothing wrong with that ... just a few weeks ago I learned what YOLO means :/ so when you havent heard a term well , it is better to ask than stay ignorant no?

#21 Posted by pinner458 (1029 posts) -

@rentfn: No but they don't play baseball here. I know what an offside is in soccer despite not liking it at all, which I guess is the equivalent test to Infield Fly Rule in Europe.

#22 Posted by Beforet (2989 posts) -

What's an RPG?

#23 Posted by ajamafalous (12393 posts) -

I want you to ask 100 random people on the street what an RPG is and get back to me with how many reply with "Role-Playing Game."

I can guarantee it's less than 50%.

#24 Edited by Kazuki_Ryuunosuke (17 posts) -

I played plenty of RPGs as a kid, especially on the GBC and GBA. Games being Pokemon, Golden Sun, Final Fantasy, etc. I didn't find out the term RPG until a friend introduced me to Kingdom Hearts a year after it came out. He said "You should try out this game dude, it's an action RPG based around Disney characters and those JRPGs you play." As soon as he said RPG, I immediately thought rocket-propelled grenade, since I played a few shooters and Metal Gear too, then he said JRPG, my mind just melted. I was 15 at the time. Even after that, I still didn't totally understand what exactly an RPG was even though I have played many. I just stuck with the term 'video game.' Never really thought about genres even. I of course finally understand them and their many types, being 25 now. So it's perfectly natural. Someone next to me in class right now recognized me playing Crazy Taxi on my iPhone, saying he used to play at his cousins all the time. I immediately thought he was a fellow gamer but as our conversation went on, I found out he wasn't due to the fact that I was basically just rambling to him and he had no idea what I was talking about.

Also, look at the fact that RPG elements are pretty much put into everything now, and there are so many types of RPGs that it's not really it's own genre anymore. Just look at JRPG now, what the heck are those supposed to be anymore? They go every which way that they've lost that genres meaning.

#25 Edited by Superkenon (1553 posts) -


#26 Posted by ShaggE (7095 posts) -

@beforet said:

What's an RPG?

A good thing to call action games with leveling and quests if you want to watch a ton of people rage.

#27 Posted by senrat (336 posts) -

That is a bit strange but not shocking by any means. It is one of the biggest genres of video game so even people lightly into games know what it is. Some people just dont pick up on things like you thing they should. Just politely inform him and tell him about some of the best games in the genre to try to get his interest.

#28 Posted by Carryboy (878 posts) -

To be completely honest if this surprises you greatly you should try opening up the group of the people you hang around with as about 75% of the people I know probably wouldn't know what an RPG is.

#29 Posted by GERALTITUDE (4233 posts) -

oh man...what a loser..

#30 Posted by ProfessorEss (7674 posts) -

To be fair, I'm not totally sure I understand what RPG means anymore either :P

#31 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (1074 posts) -

I couldn't tell you what an RPG is, the definition within video games is completely arbitrary. How the fuck are Final Fantasy X and Skyrim the same genre

#32 Posted by CrazyBagMan (878 posts) -

RPG's aren't pop culture

#33 Edited by mosespippy (4746 posts) -

@pinner458: Offsides in soccer is actually pretty simple to explain and a common occurrence over the course of a game, while the infield fly rule is a bit complex and pertains to a very specific situation that doesn't always happen. It's more comparable to en passant in chess, or a rouge in Canadian football.

#34 Edited by TobbRobb (5032 posts) -

@taku128: Please FFX is a JRPG. Major difference. :P


#35 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -

I have the same response when people say they don't know what the cover 2 defense is. COME ON MAN THIS IS AMERICA!!!

#36 Posted by Pete0r (128 posts) -

Maybe you missed his emphasis, "What IS an rpg?" You should direct him to one of the myriad threads discussing it.

#37 Posted by TreeTrunk (203 posts) -

lol you think that's bad, I met a guy once who out of the blue just asked me if I ever played 'that zelda game on nintendo'. I was like yeah I played the hell out of ocarina of time when I was little. Then I start talking about how I always thought it was weird that the nintendo 64 controller had 3 prongs, so every now and then you had to switch your hand. He kept saying "huh", and "what". Long story short HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT THE NINTENDO 64 CONTROLLER HAS THREE PRONGS TO HOLD ON TO!!!

#38 Posted by TooWalrus (13324 posts) -

And I don't really know what a transmission is, but eh, who cares.

#39 Posted by Dalai (7765 posts) -

You're an RPG.

#40 Posted by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:


No, this is Giant Bomb, and not all of us know what cover 2 defense means.

#41 Posted by JasonR86 (10003 posts) -
#42 Posted by HatKing (6426 posts) -

Honestly though, can we even give a definitive definition of RPG at this point?

#43 Posted by Mcfart (1847 posts) -

If the only video game he ever played was Angry Birds, then yeah, course he dosen't know. Lots of people will grow up only playing mobile games and minecraft. It's a different generation.

#44 Posted by supamon (1339 posts) -

I've been playing games since I was a kid and the term is so overused nowadays that I'd be hard pressed to tell what exactly is an RPG.

#45 Posted by BeachThunder (13089 posts) -

So, what is an RPG? I used to believe that a good way of defining an RPG was games that have some kind of statistical character progression. That just doesn't seem to make sense anymore though, 'RPG elements' have bled into so many different types of games. Also, the term has been thrown around all over the place - to the point where I'm sure that anything but Pong could be considered an RPG by someone...

#46 Edited by Hippie_Genocide (880 posts) -

Wow, what an idiot! Next I suppose you'll tell me he has a burgeoning social life, right?

#47 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12663 posts) -

Congratulations: Your friend isn't a nerd.

#48 Posted by Hunter5024 (6308 posts) -

How did you explain it to him?

#49 Edited by development (2945 posts) -

No offense, but you're just out of touch with people who don't play games, which is many people. Even my friends who play Gran Turismo or Madden or GTA every couple months don't know what things like "RPG" or "RTS" mean. Usually I'll say, "well, do you know what an RPG is," and usually the answer is silence... meaning "no."

I have one friend who calls them "sword games."

#50 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2060 posts) -

@darji said:

@pinner458: It is pretty common. People even believe that Mass Effect is a RPG while in reality it is a shooter with RPG elements.

Please don't turn this into a video game genre definition debate, they're so nebulous anyway that you could classify most games as five or six different genres. I don't think someone calling Mass Effect an rpg is outlandish, and if you consider the actual meaning of the term, role playing game, it fits the definition of playing a role far more than many RPGs, even with its more limited inventory and customization systems.