Role-playing game (according to wiki)
A role-playing game (RPG) is a broad family of games in which players assume the roles of characters, or take control of one or more avatars, in a fictional setting. Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
The original form, sometimes called the pen-and-paper RPG, is conducted through speech. In live action role-playing games (LARP), players perform their characters' physical actions. In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used and acts as referee, while each other player plays the role of a single character. At the heart of these formats is in-character participation in a collaborative narrative. Several varieties of RPG exist in electronic media, including text-based MUDs and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games.
Role-playing games also include offline role-playing video games in which players control a character or party of characters who undertake quests, and whose capabilities advance using statistical mechanics. These games often share settings and rules with pen-and-paper RPGs, but do not enable the same collaborative storytelling.
Despite this variety of forms, some game forms such as trading card games and wargames that are related to role-playing games may not be included. Role-playing activity may sometimes be present in such games, but it is not the primary focus. The term is also sometimes used to describe roleplay simulation games and exercises used in teaching, training, and academic research.
Role playing games are fundamentally different from most other types of games in that they stress social interaction and collaboration, whereas board games, card games, and sports emphasize competition.
Both authors and major publishers of role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling. However, they are not considered true narratives like novels or films as there is no actual story within a role-playing game. Instead events, characters and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience. Like stories, role-playing games appeal because they engage the imagination. Interactivity is the crucial difference between role-playing games and traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player at a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story. Such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.
While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games such as "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and Indians", role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with the addition of numeric rule sets and the participation of a referee. Participants in a role-playing game will generate specific characters and an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief. The level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes.
"The variety of role playing games makes it inherently challenging to provide a common definition. However, all forms of role playing games – be they PnP RPGs, CRPGs, MMORPGs or LARPS - share a group of characteristics, which makes them identifiable from other types of games: storytelling with rules, control of fictional characters, a fictitious reality, usually the presence of a game master (or game engine), and at least one player."
"Still, we must note that there is no actual story in the game of the role-playing game, though there are events, characters and structures of narrativity giving the players the basis for interpreting it as a narrative. We have many partially open structures that we may fulfil with our imagination during the course of the game – within its limitations. We also have the ability to follow different kinds of narrative premises and structures as well as imitate them for ourselves to create more authentic and suitable narrative experiences. We have the ‘narrative desire’ to make pieces we interpret to relate to each other fit in, to construct the plot from recurring and parallel elements."