role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which each participant assumes the role of a character, generally in a fantasy or science fiction setting that can interact within the game’s imaginary world. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, structured decision-making, or character development.

The first commercially available role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), was published in 1974 by Gygax’s TSR. TSR marketed the game as a niche product. Gygax expected to sell about 50,000 copies. After establishing itself in boutique stores, it developed a cult following among college students and science fiction fandom.

The earliest RPG designed for console gaming was Dragonstomper for the Atari 2600 in 1982. The game laid the foundation for the tactical role-playing game genre, or “simulation RPG” as it is known in Japan. It was also an early example of a real-time, action role-play-ing game.


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Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (198 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the video game community. He is currently writing for Old School Gamer Magazine, Retro Gaming Times and The Walter Day Collection. He has Co-Promoted the Video Game Summit in Illinois for the past 11 Years. Todd's first book, Walter Day's Superstars of Gaming, Volume 1, was released in February of 2020. Todd is also the Chairman of the Nomination Committee for the International Video Game Hall of Fame.