Some of you may recall my passing comment in one of January’s Week Spots, that I had set myself a little challenge to play different game genres each month outside of my usual comfort zone. I didn’t realise how many game genres there are and how little I play of them. I have blinkered myself to playing sports, racing or first person shooters. This has made me think about why most of us do only play certain types of games and why is there a reluctance to try something new.
If you look at a list of game genres I have plenty to choose from, within each genre there is multiple types of ‘sub genre’ that explore different aspects of the main genre in more detail, here are some examples:
Of course the landscape of gaming is evolving so rapidly that genres are changing, new ones are being introduced and sub genres are becoming popular genres in their own right. Putting a game in a certain pigeon hole is tricky as I have found that some cross over into different categories. So why do we limit ourselves to a certain type or types of game? Should we embrace more genres? In my opinion, and from personal experience it comes down to a number of factors.
I think naturally people gravitate towards something they are interested in; an easy example is motor racing games. If you like watching racing on TV and have an interest in cars you will want to become part of this in a game. If you are a wheat grass drinking hippy it’s probably not your bag.
If you are a full of beans, enthusiastic, speak now think later kind of guy or gal you will find that you probably would prefer an immediate arcade action kind of game than a slow methodical approach to something like the classic title Settlers.
Games cost money unless you are in the fortunate position where you can get them for free. If you can only afford one new game once in a while you probably won’t risk buying a title you wouldn’t normally choose.
Tried something and hated it? Chances are you will avoid all subsequent games in a series and possibly the whole genre.
I can’t do stealth, not in real life or, it would seem, in games (linked with personality). Therefore, I have not played games such as Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell as my perception is that they will be not my cup of tea. My wife can’t play most games as she doesn’t possess the hand to eye coordination, yet she does like a good game of Pong.
I have 3 young kids, a full time job, a full time wife and I try and find time to contribute to this fantastic site. Reality is I have limited time to play games at the moment. If I did have wealth and could afford a number of games I could still only play a certain number and because time is precious I want to spend it playing games I want to play.
Do you daydream? I do, and I certainly don’t daydream about being a chess master or if I can break this next line of blocks. It is natural for us to want to be detached from reality when gaming and living out our dreams – from scoring in a world cup final to rescuing the girl after a blazing shootout, our gaming habits often follows this course.
In essence there is no real answer and it is not a question of being right or wrong if you limit yourself to one style of game. You are an individual and you can do whatever makes you happy, even if that is an unhealthy addiction to Candy Crush Saga! But sometimes if you’re tempted, try it. You might just like it! So how have I got on in my quest? I have successfully ticked off 3 genres, these are:
Puzzle – The Treasures of Montezuma Blitz (PS Vita)
Why do I not play puzzle games? This little match and win puzzle game is fantastic. Speed, concentration and reactions are all things I am missing which makes this game a real challenge, but not in a hard way. It’s not a brain churning, furrowed brow type of puzzle game that will leave you needed to call upon mathematicians to solve, but will use up a few minutes when needed.
Will I play this type of game more – Yes.
Fighter – BazBlue (PS Vita)
Classic 2D mash and bash 1 on 1 fighting game with a twist, I would describe this game as the love child of Street Fighter and a Manga comic. It has some weird and wonderful character with some even stranger fighting abilities. The last game of this type I played was probably Tekken 2 at college and I am not a big fan. These types of games have limited shelf life unless you are at university in a house full of guys who show off the size of their penis by demonstrating the 28 button combo they can pull off. If you are good you can complete it, and possibly in the case of Mortal Kombat, practice the finishing moves, if you are bad you get to the 5th guy repeatedly and throw your controller at the TV. Both don’t scream weeks of gameplay.
Will I play this type of game more – No.
Simulation – Football Manager Handheld (Android)
Probably the first but not the last question mark over the category of genre, this game could be put in the Sports genre which I play often, but as I have not played a managerial game for about 20 years I thought it was safe to put it in its own category. Football Manager games are big business, people lose/spend months and even years playing these games. I have heard stories of Luton Town in the Champions League and people putting on suits to manage their team in the FA Cup final. It has been called an addiction; luckily I am not a sufferer. This title on Android is similar to all that have come before on all platforms. You take control of your preferred team and lead them merrily through the domestic season, buying and selling players, planning tactics and formations and generally tying to keep your job. It is a tried and tested formula that will keep working providing football stays as popular as ever, which I think it will. I think having it on your phone is perfect as it doesn’t jump in front of the latest next gen titles and your can play in the gaps that need filling like waiting for a bus, etc. I won’t be loading up on to my desktop computer anytime soon but it will stay on my phone.
Will I play this type of game more – Yes (but only this one).
So I have 9 more months and 9 different types of game to play, any suggestions tweet me @Tech_Father and I will report back soon.