A game is an organized type of play, sometimes undertaken just for fun or entertainment, and at other times used as an educational instrument. Games are very different from work, which tend to be carried out either for monetary compensation, and from literature, which is mostly an expression of personal or aesthetic values. The distinguishing features of a game are its goal, the interaction it involves, the rules, the materials (e.g., pieces, cards, etc. ), and the players. However, all these characteristics stem from one basic feature: there is no reward without some form of effort or participation. In fact, in many cases, the only motivation you need to play a game is to participate – which may result in the development of skills, strategies, and decision-making process.
There are a lot of genres in video games. There have been, on the one hand, the basic genres – action, adventure, strategy, role-playing, shooting, racing, sports, puzzles, and pets. But these have always been relatively simple, requiring only the player to move around the screen and click on objects. With the development of technology, however, a number of developers have managed to combine different gameplay features into one. They have managed to create hybrid genres, redefining what gaming is all about.
Let’s take a look at three main categories of game genres. The first one is the platformer. Platformers usually require the player to jump from one platform to another, completing a series of stages. Examples include Mario, Duck Hunt, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario World, and Mega Man. On the other hand, we also have action-adventure hybrids, which combine elements of action and adventure, or action with puzzle and adventure. These include Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid.
The second main category is the puzzle game. These are often very abstract, with the storyline and difficulty levels being very intricate. Two of the most famous puzzle game franchises include Sudoku and solitaire. There are many games in this genre, including Sequence, Mentalis, Stratego, and Pictionary.
The third main category is the emergent behavior game. This type of game is characterized by an element of mystery, with the gameplay mostly revolving around the interaction between a central character, typically an animal, and its environment. Many of these games are simulation of natural behaviors, such as the way animals behave in the wild. An example of such a game is Ant Farm, or Reel Fishing. This subgenre has many popular imitations, including Monkey Island, Downhill Panic, and Fronteirville.
Video game addiction has reached almost epidemic proportions. Even something as seemingly innocent as playing puzzle or war games can be very addictive, to the point where the only way to release the symptoms is to repeat the activity itself. This forms a loop, with very little variation: the user keeps playing a video game, feels the urge to play, uses a patch to stop the effects of addiction, feels better and wants more. This type of loop is so prevalent that it’s been called the “incredibly boring high”, by some geologists. This is a problem that the video game industry is struggling with, as it’s a major factor in the rapid growth of the video game industry.