like most other forms of media, may be categorized into genres based on
gameplay, atmosphere, and various other factors. In fact, games are often
much easier to classify by genre than films, music, or books. Due to gaming's
relatively short history, technical limitations, and the commercial pressures
currently affecting the North American and Japanese markets, electronic
games are ensconced in a period of extreme formalism. Recently, video
games have begun to explode in popularity, a rise which coincides with
an increase in production value, and thus, development cost. As gamers
come to expect talented voice acting, enormous, meticulously-constructed
worlds and Hollywood-quality sound effects, production costs rise, and
owing to the tremendous investment required by publishers (who want to
maximize profits), most choose to make games based upon "tried-and-true"
ideas, borrowing heavily from previous games and concepts.
This is most evident in the fact that publishers' tend to establish "franchises",
which often recycle the same characters, situations, conflicts, gameplay
mechanics, and themes for any number of sequels. Therefore, though many
games may combine genres, very few exist outside the paradigm of previously
established genres, with notable exceptions.
The most common genres in use today include:
* role-playing game (RPG)
o first person shooter (FPS)
o third person shooter
* strategy game
Most games nowadays are a combination of two or more genres (e.g action/RPG).
There are also number of genres, which are mostly unpopular today, that
were hybrid forms of other media, such as books or movies; the most familiar
being interactive fiction and interactive movies...