On a forum, I was asked whether or not I thought RPGs had evolved, or just fragmented. This was my reply:
does not mean objectively better. It means better suited to current
conditions. With that caveat, I submit that RPGs have evolved, and it is
necessary - and this necessity becomes more acute as the main lines of
development radiate into more and more instantiation - that they evolve
and continue evolving.
Fragmentation may be compared to
speciation, wherein a stem RPG radiates out into more and more
instantiations, through the mechanisms of adaptation and drift. This
radiation promotes competition, which winnows out unfit specimens
because no-one is interested enough to drift and adapt them.