What people need to realize is that ALL ELECTRONIC GAMES HAVE STATS, and therefore also all action games. The difference is that in some of them the stats are more prominent and more visible than in others. Take Pong, for example. If I were to say that "Pong is a pure action game", no one would disagree with that statement. The paddle is fully controlled by the player, and it is therefore solely the player's reflexes that determine whether he wins or loses a match. Hence Pong is a pure action game.
However at this point we've already made a mistake, and it is indeed a very grave one. Because it's NOT "solely the player's reflexes that determine whether he wins or loses a match" -- it is also the physical properties of the paddle. The paddle cannot go across the screen as fast as the player may want it to, therefore its top speed and acceleration also play a part in whether he wins or loses. Of course these attributes cannot be affected by the player -- the only thing the player can do is control the paddle within the given parameters and give it all his best. But what if with each win he was awarded a number of skill points, which he could then distribute among the paddle's various attributes: size, shape, speed, acceleration, ball-bouncing strength, etc. Wouldn't that new feature suddenly turn Pong into an action RPG?
First off, the answer to that silly question is "no".
If you like that then read this.
Warning; the guy is kinda an di*k.