Until I get the full book itself, I've been perusing the PDF excerpts that Emperor's Choice has placed online. One of the things I found most interesting is a section at the beginning of Chapter One, in which Hargrave says the following:
This game, Arduin, is part of the genre known as Adventure Games. Role-playing is at the heart of all adventure games, though other elements such as conflict, chance and strategy are also important.Now, let me start upfront that I think it's too late to call the object of our shared hobby anything but "roleplaying games." However inadequate a term that may be, it's the term that we're stuck with and every attempt to alter it that's been attempted thus far has been alternately quixotic and pretentious. That said, the term "roleplaying games" is inadequate, or perhaps more accurately, it's too narrow.
As Hargrave rightly points out, roleplaying is definitely at the heart of our hobby, but there are other important facets to it as well. By adopting the term "roleplaying game" for the kinds of games we enjoy, I think we've unintentionally emphasized one of their facets to the point that it overshadows the others. That's a mistake in my opinion, which is why the description above pleases me. Conflict, chance, and strategy are essential elements of the games I enjoy (more on this in a future post) and their absence -- or at least diminution -- dissatisfies me.
I make no claim that this passage from The Compleat Arduin says anything that others have not said elsewhere, but it says what it does in a way that spoke to me today and I thought it worth sharing with others.