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RPG Reload Glossary - What is a Social RPG"

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RPG Reload Glossary - What is a Social RPG" RPG Reload Glossary - What is a Social RPG"

RPG Reload Glossary - What is a Social RPG"





Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where I sometimes have to throw dinner together from scraps of leftovers. While I had planned to do a developer interview this week, my day job has become rather busy all of a sudden. Because of that, I haven't been able to conduct the interview as I had originally hoped. I gave some thought to the idea of taking a week off, but we haven't missed a Reload in three and a half years and I don't plan on changing that. Ultimately, I settled on an early debut for an idea I had been planning: the RPG Reload Glossary. The Glossary is a place where I can define things and go into their histories a little so that you, the reader, know where I'm coming from. I'll be doing a Glossary entry every month or two as long as I can come up with ideas for it, so if you have anything you want explored, let me know in the comments.

I thought I would kick this series off with a question that has come up now and then in the comments on some stories here at TouchArcade: what is a 'social RPG'" Since I'm partially responsible for dragging the term into the English-speaking world, I felt I should probably help with the actual definition. The truth is that it's a fairly broad term, one that is well-understood in Japan, its country of origin, but not nearly as clear outside of that country. I don't know if it's going to stick around as a genre label, but since we officially recognize it here at TouchArcade, we'd probably better explain it. I think we all understand what an RPG is, at least in the basic sense. Since 'social' is an English word, you would think it wouldn't be too hard to sort out the combination of the two. Yet the kinds of games that are classified as social RPGs often have only the barest social elements. What gives" If I can't even chat with other players, how is it social at all"
In this case, however, the 'social' part of the label comes not from its literal meaning, but from another loose genre: the social game. You might be familiar with this kind of game. Born as web browser games and often delivered through social networking services like Facebook, social games are typically free-to-play games that involve some sort of nigh-endless task like building a farm or managing a city. These games will typically have light multiplayer aspects, mostly relegated to showing off your work, pestering your social network friends in exchange for goodies of some kind, or competing to achieve a higher score. These are games like FarmVille, Mob Wars, or The Sims Social. Maybe you play some. Maybe your mom plays some. It feels like their time has largely passed on social networks, but the games themselves have spread and flourished elsewhere.

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The Japanese games industry has had their own social games for quite a long time. Sites and services like Mixi, Gree, and Mobage have long offered their own spins on social gaming, often in...
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Source of news: Touch Arcade
Source of publication: 17-03-2017 16:00
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