Games are a structured form of interactive play, normally undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool. Games are very different from work, which are usually performed for monetary remuneration, and from fine art, which tend to be a more expressive expression of artistic or aesthetic views. Gambling has become a widely accepted recreational activity.
Gaming is now an industry with multiple companies offering a variety of platforms, genres and game types. There has been much development in the hardware, software and other components of video games. These have led to a diversification of the game world, and the establishment of new genres such as action, adventure, first-person shooters, role playing, sports, puzzle and racing. Some of these, such as racing, were initially associated with specific consoles and gaming systems, while others have spread across the entire market and are available for all gaming devices.
The evolution of video games goes hand in hand with advancements in technology, specifically in the field of graphic and visual arts. This has seen the development of specialized engines for creating interactive content, motion capture, 3D modeling, video streaming, and real-time communication, amongst other things. It has also seen the establishment of new genres like RPG, where most of the emphasis has been put on narrative and player interaction rather than gameplay. The emergence and adoption of online communities have also fostered the development of multiplayer games, most notably Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, massively multiplayer online (MMO) RPG’s like Aion, and Ultima Online. Other genres, including simulation and adventure, have not seen the kind of evolution that video games have experienced.
The most popular type of game is of course the strategy game, a subgenre of the simulation games. The two subgenres of strategy games are turn-based and grid-based. In turn-based strategy games, you create a scenario, choose your characters, choose your equipment and then proceed to make moves or wait for them to make the same moves on their turn. On the other hand, grid-based strategy games are more action-oriented and the player has to move around the board and use items to take an action.
Of the genres mentioned above, the one that has experienced the most consistent growth is puzzle games. There has been a consistent growth of both simulation and puzzle games since the 1980’s. One reason why puzzle games have seen the most growth is because people find it challenging to master and that there are many different types of puzzles available for a player to master. Examples of simulation games are Tetris, Angry Birds, Sudoku, and Memory Cards.
Of all the genres I have described above, action-adventure games are probably the most popular. This is likely due to the fact that they offer the best blend of interactivity and narrative elements. The success of action-adventure games may be related to their accessibility and the ability to create lasting memories.