What is LitRPG?

6/7/20233 min read

So what what exactly is Litrpg?

Litrpg stands for Literary Role Playing Game, and is essentially a genre of books that takes the elements of computer games such as dungeon crawlers, rogues, single player and massive multiplayer online games (mmorpg's), and other types of games and blends those elements into a story. What generally makes a Litrpg different from your classic fantasy or sci fi book, is the introduction of familiar game mechanics and elements like status screens, health, stamina and mana bars, titles, and other elements most gamers are used to using and seeing in computer games. The reason for how these game elements get established as part of the story is varied, but some common examples include characters getting trapped in a virtual reality game, or transported to a different dimension where game mechanics are introduced, or even our having our current universe being taken over by powerful entities that force magic and game elements into our reality.

The why of how these game elements become part of the system is not really as important as the how. As in how well the author of the Litrpg blends the story and game elements together, to capture both the "feel" of the familiar computer game mechanics, as well as write a compelling story with exciting characters and action that will use those mechanics. For those folks out there like myself, who no longer have the free time to play for hours on end due to family and job responsibilities, reading Litrpgs and the similar cultivation novels really help to scratch that itch. In many ways it can even be a more compelling experience, as using the authors words and my own imagination I can envision things that no games are capable of recreating on a computer screen.

Here are the key elements of a Litrpg...

  • Game Mechanics: Central to LitRPG is the incorporation of game mechanics such as character stats, leveling systems, experience points, quests, and skill acquisition. These elements mirror those found in RPGs, creating a sense of familiarity for gamers and allowing readers to experience a story from the perspective of a player.

  • Status Screens: LitRPG often employs status screens that provide detailed information about a character's attributes, abilities, and inventory. These screens offer readers a glimpse into the progression and growth of characters, similar to the interface one would find in a video game.

  • Progression and Advancement: The protagonists in LitRPG stories embark on quests and challenges, overcoming obstacles and adversaries to level up and gain new skills or abilities. This progression serves as a driving force, keeping readers engaged and invested in the characters' journey.

  • Virtual Reality and Game Worlds: LitRPG narratives often take place within virtual reality settings or game worlds. These environments are richly described, with authors leveraging their creativity to craft vivid landscapes, intricate societies, and dynamic magic systems.

Why are Litrpgs popular? There are many reasons and much of it is dependent on the reader, but here are some key reasons...

  • Nostalgia and Familiarity: LitRPG novels tap into the nostalgia and familiarity gamers have with role-playing games. Readers who have spent hours exploring vast virtual worlds and leveling up their characters find joy in experiencing similar adventures through the pages of a book.

  • Immersive Escapism: LitRPG offers an escape into virtual realms where readers can immerse themselves in epic quests, fantastical creatures, and heroic exploits. The genre allows individuals to experience the thrill of gaming without the need for screens or controllers, relying solely on their imagination.

  • Engaging Narrative: LitRPG authors expertly blend the excitement of gaming with compelling storytelling, creating narratives that captivate readers. The progression-based structure and the anticipation of character growth keep readers invested in the outcome, often leading to binge-reading sessions.

  • Broad Appeal: LitRPG has a broad appeal, attracting not only gamers but also fantasy enthusiasts, readers seeking adventure, and those who enjoy exploring intricate worlds with well-developed characters. Its versatility makes it accessible to a wide audience.

So what are you waiting for? Read our reviews to find out more about some of the best Litrpgs out there to get started with, and started diving into this unique and highly addictive world!