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Mephs

Geek to chic

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Heyas again, After coming across this phrase in a book review on Amazon, it made me wonder a little more about what it is that makes a game popular (and as always I''m thinking around the issue of RPGs). I imagine that your average RPG, while having a good appeal to a large number of players, could perhaps benefit from a revision in style to appeal to an even wider market. So what is it then that makes a game cool as opposed to geeky, and how could we implement such an improvement to the genre? Is it even possible? These are just a couple of the questions I found myself asking. I wonder if it is just impossible to turn something of the nature of an RPG into something that could be considered mainstream in the same way a football or pure fighting game (or something along those lines) seems to be perceived as nowadays. I guess simplicity has a hand in making something mainstream, if anyone can pick it up in a matter of a few minutes (though perhaps taking a longer time to truly master), then it has an instant grasp on the first-time player, but would applying this to a RPG perhaps turn it into something boring and repetetive? Perhaps the game settings also need to be revised, after all, even with the advent of such films as the matrix and Lord of the Rings, I still somehow think either setting may be considered at least a little geeky in a game, but what alternatives are there that could still retain the same depth, yet capture a new player very quickly? Anyways I''ll leave it at that for now (though I know theres a lot more to the subject than I have covered), but would welcome further discussion on the topic. Cheers, Steve AKA Mephs

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I think the relationship between the ''geekiness'' of a game and the involvement needed to get into it is pretty much linear.

The less time it takes to finish the game is the better. The less time it takes get accustomed to the controls the better. The ''easier'' the game the better (Be careful with that one tough.)

Look at some of the most popular ''mainstream games'' like The Sims, or any recent FPS. The controls are awfully simple. On the other side, FPSes havetheir multiplayer side crowded with ''geeks'' because it is easy to master the bots, but it takes much more involvement to master a human opponent.

As for RPGs, what I like in them is the depth of the story, the wide array of character development and a robust and complete combat system. Quite ''geeky''. By bringing RPGs to the masses, you get something like Diablo, which is in, IMHO a great action-adventure game, but not really a RPG.

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Just remember that all of the best television shows get cancelled and all of the popular shows are sitcoms with teenage daughters learning about their sexuality. If you want RPGs to become more mainstream, prepare to give up all the depth it used to appeal to, and lovingly embrace the utter shallowness that will follow.

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