Role-playing video game

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A role-playing video game, sometimes called a computer role-playing game (abbreviated cRPG or CRPG), is a role-playing game which attempts to capture some of the features of the role-playing experience in a video game. Multi-User Dungeons (or MUDs) and Massively multiplayer role-playing games (or MMORPGs) attempt to replicate the social dimension of role-playing, whereas single-player games, to which the term role-playing video game is usually restricted, attempt to replicate some of the other aspects of traditional role-playing games.

Role-playing video games share common features with adventure games and text-based adventure games (sometimes referred to as interactive fiction), but usually contain either an emphasis on character creation or on the choices a character must make in the course of his or her adventures, and sometimes both.

The translation of role-playing games to the computer has distinct effects on game play. Particularly in recent years, the evolution of computer graphics has allowed game designers to lushly detail their imagined worlds. Detractors, on the other hand, note that this takes away from the imaginative aspects of traditional role-playing. Similarly, role-playing video games tend to conceal game mechanics, so that players devote little or no time to the calculation of statistics or the application of rules. On the other hand, this also eliminates the possibility of customization. Finally, while games with a human arbiter can accommodate a wide range of in-game action, the limits on action in role-playing video games are invariably narrower.