What's a good definition of LitRPG?

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG Discussion' started by Conor Kostick, May 17, 2017.

  1. Aleric Elos

    Aleric Elos Level 7 (Cutpurse) Roleplaying Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    @Matthew Siege in case you missed the edit above:
     
  2. Matthew Siege

    Matthew Siege Level 8 (Thug) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I hadn't caught the edit, so thanks for that. I can certainly get behind Science Fantasy, especially seeing as how the genre seems to include horror fiction too! (I fall into the "Horror is an emotion, not a genre" camp anyway. :) )
     
  3. Jayden

    Jayden Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    So, in my series, the "real" world is totally science fiction (cyberpunk in nature).
    In the game, the players use magic and play in a fantasy world. But the world is virtual.
    So, does this make it a sci-fi fantasy, or a straight sci-fi because the magic that exists only exists in the virtual world...
    It doesn't really exist.
    Yet, most of the story takes place as if the magic/fantasy is the setting, because, in fact, it does...
    Ha ha..

    Trying to define some of this stuff is like trying to grab a flopping trout with your bare hands.
     
  4. ChristopherKerns

    ChristopherKerns Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Lol. And a virtual trout, at that.
     
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  5. Aleric Elos

    Aleric Elos Level 7 (Cutpurse) Roleplaying Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I would say yes, @Jayden - Science Fantasy is a large umbrella that encompasses multiple subgenres - including some (but not all) LitRPG.
     
  6. Aleric Elos

    Aleric Elos Level 7 (Cutpurse) Roleplaying Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Here's a definition of the Science Fantasy version of LitRPG at http://subgenres.SciFan.org

     
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  7. Seagrim

    Seagrim Level 14 (Defender) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Probably some of the grief comes from Old School SciFi fans who cut their teeth on some of the really hard SF. Sometimes some of the really hard stuff is difficult to differentiate from a physics textbook. Start talking Fantasy and they're going to begin going into a seizure. Speak the name of magic, and watch the heads explode.
     
  8. Aleric Elos

    Aleric Elos Level 7 (Cutpurse) Roleplaying Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Lol! So true @Seagrim ! That's actually a big reason why we created SciFan Magazine - a way to showcase indies who write Science Fantasy
     
  9. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Have we nailed down a final version, @Conor Kostick? Anyone?

    If so, I'd like to add it to LitRPG Reads. The site is ranking well for "What is LitRPG" which a lot of people search for daily.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Hi Paul.

    At the risk of alienating those who would like to including levelling, the earlier discussion arrived at the following definition, which I think is good and a real improvement on my initial attempt:

    LitRPG is a literary genre where games or game-like challenges form an essential part of the landscape. A LitRPG work simultaneously narrates the story of characters inside and outside of the game-world. At least some of the characters in a LitRPG novel therefore understand that they are playing a game: they are 'meta-aware'. So, while Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is a fantasy novel, a book about people creating avatars and interacting in a Lord of the Rings MMORPG would be a LitRPG novel.
     
  11. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Thanks, @Conor Kostick. This should work for now. I'm going to add it to the "What is LitRPG?" page on LitRPG Reads and then link people to this thread.
     
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  12. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    How do we get our books mentioned on LitRPG?
     
  13. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    On the LitRPG Reads website or here at the forum? For the former, just let me know.
     
  14. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yes, the former.
     
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  15. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Send me a PM with all your ASINs, and I'll get them added over the next few weeks.

    That work?
     
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  16. Conor Kostick

    Conor Kostick Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Thanks Paul.
     
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  17. Apollos

    Apollos Level 6 (Footpad) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Great thread. Love that this is being discussed in this way. Now I have a good link to send new authors to the genre to learn about the debate.

    BTW, thank you bloggers who are writing about this.
     
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  18. Aleric Elos

    Aleric Elos Level 7 (Cutpurse) Roleplaying Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I just added the above definition to our new "LitRPG Magazine" submission requirements, and linked it back here! Check it out at http://SciFanMagazine.com and click on our submissions tab!
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Matthew James

    Matthew James Blind Beholder Citizen Beta Reader

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    Thinking of making my first LitRPG book, "What is LitRPG?" I can stretch out the page limit by adding tropes I think are specific to LitRPG... the definition that you guys came up with is almost the same as mine, but I separated LitRPG with "modern perspectives" from LitRPG with "meta aware" perspectives, which I call LitRPG Lore: because they are basically a game universe people enjoy and would like to play in. So RPG players that don't care about the Lore just play the game, and LitRPG readers that can't play the game just enjoy the Lore. A funny Nelson from the Simpsons, "Ha Haa!" type of sub-genre name. Not something that would have to affect Amazon categories, but something for the authors and super fans. I think that augmented reality games and improving VR are going to cause a jump in the number of LitRPG novels that are dramas that use game worlds as a vessel for action and adventure and stakes that just aren't present in the real world. RPO already did that with murder and a treasure hunt. But I'm guessing the genre is going to see an explosion in use for just regular game play, where the harsh in game consequences of losing a speaking sword or a pet combined with zero sum competition for glory will pit characters emotional investment in the game against those that face real life consequences for failure. Especially when VR offers an entire virtual economy connected to the real world.

    Seems a bit premature with no actual LitRPG releases under my belt, but its the only thing I've managed to work on in this genre so maybe I should just give in to the impulse. Anyone else from this thread doing the same thing?
     
  20. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I've noticed that readers seem to sometimes get upset if LitRPG books don't have a lot of stats and crunchy numbers. The term "barely LitRPG" seems to come up a lot.
    But it seems like a more "rules-light" approach would have more mainstream appeal?
    I haven't written any LitRPG yet, but it sure seems like that could be a big issue.
     

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