What is GameLit? What is LitRPG?

You keep saying that word – LitRPG. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Writing LitRPG and GameLit is interesting. Mostly because not everybody agrees on exactly what the genres cover. Therefore, you will find that the exact definition varies from person to person – even among writers.

A few different schools of thought have popped up by now, however – and I find that with the thousand+ books in the genre I’ve read by now, one seems to make the most sense. To me, what Gamelit and LitRPG means is as follows:

GameLit,

(short for Game Literature) embodies the entire genre. Any fiction that takes place within a game or includes game elements or mechanics is GameLit, regardless how heavy or detailed the game elements are. All my books are written under the GameLit umbrella, with some sort of game elements.

LitRPG,

(short for Literary Role Playing Game) meanwhile, is a subgenre of the GameLit umbrella, and requires RPG elements to be included, or it will “merely” be GameLit. Does the work of fiction include Character Sheets? Attributes? Quest descriptions or item upgrades? Then we are talking about LitRPG.

There are tons of other different subgenres under the GameLit umbrella. Some of them are massively popular, like Dungeon Core stories, while others, like LitFPS, are more unknown. On top of that, the GameLit/LitRPG stories can be set in any writing genre you desire. We have fantasy GameLit, science fiction LitRPG, post apocalyptic Tabletop Lit and… well, any kind of combination under the sun. That’s the beauty of it.

Recently, GameLit and LitRPG finally earned its own category on Amazon, making it easier for you to find amazing LitRPG books and audiobooks. Search here. Of course, their definition of what GameLit and LitRPG is may vary.

I had the below graphic created when I made a presentation on LitRPG and GameLit on the Fantasy Festival in Esbjerg. It is by no means exhaustive, but it works well to show the many possibilities under the GameLit sky.

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