It is time for the term RPG to go. For those unaware (though I don't know how) RPG stands for role playing game. Pretty self explanatory, right? You are given a role to play for the duration of a game. Simple enough. I'd like to explain where the term originated from, but that seems to be in some distant and hidden dusty tome that I don't currently have access to. Perhaps the most well known game when referring to an RPG is Dungeons and Dragons. Odds are that you have played it, know someone who has played, or have at least heard somebody mention it in passing. If not, here is some prerequisite reading. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_and_Dragons RPG is a term meant for an immerse experience, one where players have a high amount of control as far as content and actions. The role you are playing is mostly unscripted, and as such you may feel a higher amount of connection towards the character, by extension, yourself. This is fine, what the term was meant for and its proper format. Where is my beef you ask? With the term being used in video games. While it served its tour of duty commendably in throughout the early years, it has lately fallen into a bit of haze. Nowadays, what really defines a game as an RPG? Is it the narration and expansive stories? No, both of those are easily found in other titles, from many different genres. Is it the leveling system, character advancement and specializations? Once again, no. Leveling systems are found in many games nowadays, regardless of genre, as is advancement and specializations. Everything from fighting games, strategy games, and racing games now have these features. Is it an open world, being impacted by choices you make? While a tad closer than most other options, even this one has begun to wane in the past years. Open worlds are becoming par for the course, and if your actions are not being taken into account by the host world you start to lose the sense of connection. Or is it ultimately a combination of these and other options that make a RPG? Once again, I decline to say that makes the case. Take for example any of the Grand Theft Auto or Assassin's Creed titles released over the past decade. Huge open worlds often with far reaching expansive stories. They offer varying degrees of customization and freedom. Nobody will call these games an RPG though, even if they do have several of the features. What about games that have received critical acclaim as RPGs? Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Both brilliant games, aiming near the RPG crown. They offer open worlds, they offer narration and expansive stories, they offer customization and freedom of choices. Your actions have direct impact on the worlds you play in. Yet still, you aren't quite free. You are drummed along, ultimately to a conclusion, and while you may be able to go back into the world after, you can no longer have the same impact on it you once did. And that is it. Once you are at that point you realize that it wasn't quite an RPG, as much as it was a good action or adventure story. The features may be there, but the soul isn't. You can punch it in its gut, it will react, but it will always react the same, and it will never give you back more than you put in. It is no tabletop. On the tabletop, choices are unlimited. It doesn't end till somebodies' mom calls them home. And that, simply, is not an option that can be given in a video game. The term RPG is far too broad to be allotted onto any game, and in my opinion, no longer has a place as a genre. The features can all stay, but the title must go.