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#124 Role Playing Games

Posted September 1st, 2009 by Peter · 10 Comments

It’s been quite a while since the last numbered addition to SAPL, but RPGs are a staple to a majority of asians’ lifestyles. This submission by Jeffery Ng goes in depth about the Asian Infatuation with RPGs. It also talks about how to break the habit. Enjoy!


“Perfect, okay, next’ move the maple staff into a striking pose.”

Admit it. We Asians have all played at least one lame RPG (Role Playing Game) at one point or another in our lives. At first, everything seems surreal: logging into a fantasy world with a regrettable username accompanied by a predictable password; controlling a 2d/3d character in cyberspace to hit/jump/talk and making friends/enemies you’ll never meet (Talk smack to your heart’s content). It was our watered down version of ecstasy.

But is it all worth it? I’m of course referring to all the time spent hitting mushroom after mushroom with incremental gains in experience and IMs with our most recent e-girlfriends or boyfriends. The loss of human contact is only the beginning of this slippery slope. Soon enough, you’re sleeping irregular hours to level up your character to be able to wield the ultra fantastic level 578 golden yogurt slinger. After a few months or years, you finally realize, “What the F*** am (was) I doing?”

scared-to-death-2You begin the overdue self-evaluation.

“How did it become like this? My cell phone hasn’t rung for weeks!”  ”My last physical contact happened when I was getting change from the grocery store.”

Now, you’re in your own little mental rehab. Your rehabilitation process begins with limiting your playtime and attempting to reconnect with the alien concept called life. You frantically search in vain elsewhere for that familiar e-high until you realize it’s not worth it. Within days, your battle fatigued eyes and sleeping patterns return back to normal. Friends appear out of the blue and real life seems interesting again. Your diet no longer contains only pizzas, takeout and other junk. You’ve beaten the RPG disease, congratulations!

But the questions still remain: How or why did it all happen? Why are RPG games a calling card for Asians?

A majority of Asians lack physical confidence (or motor skills). Our conscience yearns for money, respect, and power. BAM, an RPG appears. Without a moment’s hesitation, we apply our highly developed finger reflexes and patience into hoarding our own versions of money, power, and respect (silver in WOW). Balling out with expensive potions, earning respect by flaunting flashy skills, and being able to destroy the strongest monsters without a sweat is our version of the American Dream. But don’t worry: RPG Addiction is only a phase that can be overcome with a dash of reality.

So, there you have it. Most of us play because we’re too afraid to face reality. We’re able to create lives with just clicks and taps. RPGs are not games. They destroy lives and tear apart loving families. Don’t be a victim. Play Call of Duty.

Jeffrey is currently a student at NYU. He is also a cheeseburger enthusiast.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Linda // Sep 3, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Please don’t generalize Asians. I know plenty of Asians who play sports, whether it’s an occasional pick up game or in an actual league. The interests are so vast that one can’t “stereotype” the sports we play. Those who choose to play it on video is their choice. But most of the Asians I know play it for real.

  • 2 Jeffrey Ng // Sep 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Hey Linda,

    I apologize if you found this post offensive but I believe you’re missing the point of this blog. As it states, the goal is to simply point out cultural and social truths over light-hearted humor in order to strength the community. While I’m sure that not every single Asian (although I do begin with all Asians) has played RPGs or video games in general, there are many who have played it and still do. If you pay attention to the other 123 articles, you will find that not every Asian pours tea, beats their children, names their daughter after jewelry or attends UCLA. These are all generalizations that are funny to observers or writers like us, thus, provoking us to write about it.

  • 3 kvietgrl // Sep 3, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I agree with jeffrey. Great article. I like how this is an avenue to talk about our quirky observations and share our experiences in a light-hearted manner. Hope you’ll continue to write more, Jeff!

  • 4 Peter // Sep 7, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Thanks Jeff for your insight as well. I know that it is hard to be politically correct in every facet of writing, so please bear with the sapl writers in our learning process as well.


  • 5 clal // Sep 13, 2009 at 7:32 am

    the term “ASIAN” is very controvercial.

    actually, what we usually call asian is the asian of HANZI cultural belt.

    TRUE ASIAN is CHINESE(including taiwanese),KOREAN,JAPANESE.

    you fake southeastasian don’t pretend to be an asian.
    you are just asianwannabe whose IQ and ability are below ASIAN STANDARD.

    (IQ and global inequality)

  • 6 Nhi // Sep 15, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Hey clal, then why don’t you take it up with people who give a shit about your opinions?

    Asia is a continent, therefore everyone who lives on that continent is ASIAN, regardless of which region they originate from. I mean, Indians are Asians, and they’re smart (

    Anyway, great article. This totally happened to me. haha. So glad my friends were on vacation and couldn’t witness this. xD

  • 7 lol // Oct 8, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    If anyone seriously still plays Maple Story I’m going to cry. That was the most mind-numbing, idiotic, worthless game I had ever wasted more than 120 hours of my life on.

  • 8 got-rice // Oct 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    lol…Final Fantasy nerds.

  • 9 nirk // Jul 24, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Most of what you’re talking about in this article seems to be referring to MMORPGs, which… is only one kind of RPG. I understand that parts of your examples can also apply to regular RPGs, but this lack of distinction kind of annoys me. Maybe because I’m an Asian who likes RPGs (lol.)

  • 10 DayDreamingKitten // Sep 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    oh woow, i love rpgs. =3 japanese rpgs are highly addictive and better then most western rpgs in my opinion. though… i have to admit, fable and skyrim is addicting as well >XD (final fantasy nerd since FF7 and still waiting for that HD remake ) <3

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