Gw Temp


Article - 'Genre Confusion and how we can fix it' by Bondo

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004


Bondo discusses common misconceptions about genres!


I've noticed a disturbing trend these past few years. Video games have gotten more and more diverse, and the once strong lines between different genres are getting blurry. One used to be able to say "Adventure game." and people would know what he was talking about. Now one might say "Adventure game." and some people will think of The Legend of Zelda, while others think of Sierra or Lucas Arts classics. This is becomming a problem, and has spawned arguments over many forums and other places of discussion.
Part of the problem is due to the fact that the names of certain game genres aren't precise enough. Role Playing Games for example. It's natural to think of Final Fantasy, or Dragon Quest at the mention of these words. But when a game like Zelda, for example, comes out and people begin calling it a Role Playing game, confusion sets in. The argument will usually begin lightly, with the opposing party saying something like "Zelda isn't a role playing game! It's an adventure game!" This will bring in classic Sierra adventure game enthusiasts into the argument, saying that Zelda doesn't fit the classic definition of "Adventure Game." And is therefore obviously a RPG. But a few snotty liberals might say that Role Playing Game, means a simulation where you play the role of another character. Therefore every game where you play the role of another character is a RPG. From Super Mario, to Metal Gear.
This is a worst case scenario, and these types of arguments can get pretty ugly. An action game is a game that contains action. Pong contains action and is therefore an action game. These types of game categorizations are TOO GENERAL. We need something better. So I thought of a few ways to get around this obvious problem.

1: Scrap all game genre names.
They are too general. Too many games now fall under different categories, which caused people to call some games "Action Adventure." or "Metroid-like, side scrolling, hack n' slash, rpg, adventure." This just doesn't work anymore. So instead of saying "There's this RPG..." Say "There's this game..."

2:Be more descriptive
Simply saying "There's this game..." really isn't enough to clue people in on exactly what game you're talking about. So you might say "There's this game, it's called (Insert name here.) and it's got (Stuff) and (Some more stuff) and it kinda reminds me of (Some game you liked.)

3: Associate game with their name, not their genre
Let's say for example you're writing a review for a game made in RM2K that appears to play similarly to Final Fantasy 3. Instead of saying "An RPG Final Fantasy clone." Say "a neo-squaresoft game." People should understand this, and assume that the game is similar to something that square has made in the past. It also sounds nicer.

Ok, I guess that's all. Not too long of an article, but I have a class to attend "Intro to Audio. O_o." I'll try to write another one this weekend.