Yes - but they made a big mistake, due to not recognising WHY it was called a ROLE-PLAYING game in the first place - i.e. WHAT it had that defined it as such a type of game to begin with, in a manner consistent with what the word game itself represents - and as I said, not knowing and understanding the latter, is therefore the ultimate root cause of this problem, of which everything else is merely a symptom. They DID NOT merely replace the pen and paper with the computer, which is the only consistent method of converting and 'capturing' them, and is why we're having problems...
(p.s. how do you get italics? (I hate having to use caps all the time :-/ )).
Types of games are ONLY defined by two things: The medium/media used, and the type of story that can be written.
The pen and paper are a medium, but merely form a TYPE of RPG, rather than a type of game in general. The RULES, systems and mechanics of a game, in and for themselves, are SUBJECTIVE, and cannot be used to define a type of game at all - merely supporting the identity of an individual game based on their application. The type of written story they ENABLE, CAN be used to define a TYPE of game, but that's NOT what has happened here, and is why we're having problems.
It's the act of a PERSON PLAYING THE ROLE OF A CHARACTER (in conjunction with and ADDITION TO any other media, such as dice/pen and paper and whatever systems and mechanisms, such as the D20 system etc.), that defines such an activity as a TYPE of game, based on such a MEDIUM being used.
But such a label is not being perceived, recognised or understood in a manner that is consistent with such use and definitions of types of games in general - which is why it is now used inconsistently and incorrectly, and is causing so many problems. Based on its use outside of computers - the term RPG, should only have a very limited use and meaning for computer games - since computers CANNOT enable such role-play by themselves - they're not powerful enough, yet - which leaves multi-player games using computers as the medium to enable such role-playing BETWEEN PEOPLE as the only possible method by which computer-based RPG's can consistently exist - replacing the pen and paper with the computer.
Unfortunately, by confusing a medium for mechanics, systems and rules, and then trying to shoehorn it into a type of written story that isn't suitable for such a label, a lot of the power, scope and potential of computer games is not being fully recognised and understood. I can define furniture as being only made out of wood all I like - but that doesn't mean I'll be correct in relation to how the rest of the language is used. Unfortunately, if everyone then only starts recognising furniture if it's made out of wood, and not metal, plastic or glass, we're going to lose something...
Furniture is defined by it's function, not the materials or process used to make it.
Games are defined by the behaviour they are designed to enable - which IS their function - not the rules or media used to enable it in the first place.
Although types of furniture can be LABELLED by such materials, and types of games can be LABELLED by the media being used - they have no impact on their definitions AS furniture or games in general, which is why such terms are used in ADDITION to, in COMBINATION WITH, the words game and furniture themselves, optionally, based on their subjective application.