283: Introducing The Escapist's Genre Wheel

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Nojh:
I like the idea overall. I do admit to having never heard of the term "Grand Strategy". Can someone provide me some examples? I am kind of assuming that is where a lot of the importing of board games to video games are going to wind up. IE Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, and a lot of the German board games that focus primarily on strategy.

Grand Strategy is a term we stole from B.H. Liddel-Hart. It's basically a strategy game where players have access to more than just the military might of their faction. Games that include elements of economics, diplomacy, politics, and science are included here. The important thing is that the player is in charge of the policies of his or her side, which impact the potential for success.

Games like Civilization, Europa Universalis, Total War, etc. are considered Grand Strategy.

Steve Butts:
Aha! There is a point to be made with regard to the way the "rest of the world" uses the word "genre." When I tell non-gamers I like war games, they think Call of Duty and Halo simply because those are games "about war." I think subject matter is too subjective to find a consistent taxonomy outside of "fiction vs. non-fiction" but it is an important consideration. Now that we've got this thing out, we may turn out attention to the question of genre as a way of talking about subject matter.

Yeah, this wheel idea made me recall your column on the matter. Games are not alone with this issue of using the same word to refer to a style classification and a subject classification. "War movies" could be lumped together as a genre, but of course an action movie set during a war, a drama set during a war, a comedy set during a war, and a war documentary are all offering very different things to the viewer.

Mullahgrrl:
This got me thinking, why don't you guys ever review any grand-strategy titles?

They did Civ 5 and the new Shogun. Were there other biggies you thought went unnoticed?

dastardly:

Russ Pitts:
Introducing The Escapist's Genre Wheel

The Escapist breaks games down to their basics and devises a genre classification system that covers all (ok, almost all) of the bases.

Read Full Article

Also, I foresee a lot of resistance from people that see games as being "cross-genre" examples. Again, it's going to come back to a differing belief in what defines genre.

Someone might say, "Well, this FPS has RPG elements, so where is it on your circle?" But we've got to make sure to differentiate "RPG elements" from "Plays like an RPG." Having a branching tree of selectable upgrades earned through experience doesn't change the fundamental mode of gameplay. It simply gives the game a miniscule shift around toward "strategy."

The game's mechanics aren't the primary concern. Genre should be (and, in your chart, is) defined by what is expected of the player. The ways the game provides for the player to interact with the world (action/strategy), and the reasons the player is asked to interact (indirect/direct conflict) set the principle genre. Other game mechanics (like these nebulous "rpg elements" or other bastardizations of terminology) are simply seasoning that lightly shifts the flavor of the entrée in one direction or another. Not defining features.

So, when faced with a "cross-genre" game, simply ask players to define the game in terms of what the player is expected to do the majority of the time. One will always rise to the surface as the clear winner.

Even if this isn't the case they're still good. Imagine a grand strategy game like Civilization that also turned into an RTS or even a brawler every time you attacked a city. A reviewer could very easily say that the game had portions that were Grand Strategy and portions that were RTS or brawler and still be very accurate, because the article never said they would try to sort a game into one and only one category.

On an unrelated note, I think I can now define Shadow of the Colossus as an Adventure-Sports game. I am strangely comfortable with this.

copycatalyst:
Yeah, this wheel idea made me recall your column on the matter. Games are not alone with this issue of using the same word to refer to a style classification and a subject classification. "War movies" could be lumped together as a genre, but of course an action movie set during a war, a drama set during a war, a comedy set during a war, and a war documentary are all offering very different things to the viewer.

I'm flattered you remembered that one.

As I said in that article, there are some other forms of media where the "how" takes precedence over the "what" in terms of categorization. The video store, for instance, has shelves for animation and documentary, while the book store has shelves for biography and reference. None of these say anything about the subject matter, but we still feel they're compelling ways to differentiate content.

beefpelican:

Mullahgrrl:
This got me thinking, why don't you guys ever review any grand-strategy titles?

They did Civ 5 and the new Shogun. Were there other biggies you thought went unnoticed?

Yeah, all the paradox titles.

Civ and total war are grand strategy posers (gsp) in comparison.

I wanna see Yahtzee's opinion on this wheel.
OT: That is a very good and comprehensive system, even though many games will still fall straight through the cracks (spokes?) of that thing (I'm looking at Mass Effect, btw)

one slight gripe though: since when do driving games have exploration OR conflict? i mean a few of them DO have open worlds; but those are little more than excuses to muck about in freedom. And few racing games have any real "conflict" (and those are called Vehicular action games, like twisted metal, which aren't "racers" par's e).

Instead (arcade/sim) driving games seem, to me, 'pure' action games. And for this reason, i think you guys should include two more categories, inside, the 'action' and 'strategy' boxes respectively.

Pure action games: Racing games and (many) Platformers (that have no E/C like "Doodle jump or simple platformers like that)

Pure Strategy: (many) Puzzle games (like Bejeweled or Angry birds)

(optional) All in the Bag/Deluxe Combo Pack: Right in the centre of the wheel (ACSE) just because I'm a hard core Mass Effect fan. :D

beefpelican:
Even if this isn't the case they're still good. Imagine a grand strategy game like Civilization that also turned into an RTS or even a brawler every time you attacked a city. A reviewer could very easily say that the game had portions that were Grand Strategy and portions that were RTS or brawler and still be very accurate, because the article never said they would try to sort a game into one and only one category.

On an unrelated note, I think I can now define Shadow of the Colossus as an Adventure-Sports game. I am strangely comfortable with this.

But if it did, would that really make Civ a "brawler"? Would the "brawler elements" be worth assigning the label to the game? See, the question we're getting into here isn't whether or not you could assign a particular label to part of a game, but rather whether or not you should.

One of the topics covered in the "Breaking the Genre Contract" article deals with the expectations that come with what you put on a product's label. If you deem the "brawler elements" enough to mention it in the marketing, you're telling potential players that these elements constitute a significant part of the game--so much so that fans of brawlers would have enough reason to buy, play, and enjoy this game.

It would be one thing to mention the inclusion of subgames on the box. It would be another thing to behave as though the game is cross-genre. That's the distinction that I think is important, because I think too many of us are too willing to assign that label to our personal favorites. Look through this thread, and find how many people think games like Fallout 3 or WoW represent all styles of gameplay, when it's obvious that one or two styles dominate the landscape.

Genre headings aren't trophies. A game isn't necessarily "better" the more genre headings it can collect. And there are plenty of games that grow beyond the normal confines of their own genre, but those games don't necessarily branch into other genres. We sometimes behave as though we can claim our favored game is better by attributing other genre headings to it like badges or ribbons, but it's just not the case. Mislabeling a game with extra genre tags is apt to lead to unrealistic (and thus unmet) expectations.

When assigning a genre heading/label to a game, the priority isn't whether or not a particular label is possible, but rather it is useful in providing clear information to potential players.

Decide if the game is truly laid across multiple genres, or if the "extras" are just side items... or even just seasoning.

so if your using two axis of whatsit (i would add a Z axis for narrative/atmospheric VS social but then it would be kinda incomprehensible until viewing webpages in 3D becomes standard) why use a wheel instead of a more traditional grid and a shape instead of a single point and possibly distance from the middle indicating depth*? it seems like it would be more informative and more shiny for games designed to work with multiple playstyles taking up more graph space. possibly with only the axis defined without including any numbers so it isnt taken as a qualitative judgement. people could come to the same sort of conclusion, but more defined "i tend to like games taking up at least this general area". it would also be a great excuse for you to draw all day instead of writing reviews no matter how poor your art skills, which you may or may not consider a good thing depending on exactly how managerial your role is. sorry for language failure but late.

*so something close to the middle would indicate a game anyone could pick up and play without thinking; something like tetris, a game that looks like a spike heading towards the middle would be a game with some more complex mechanics that grow on you over time but is still pretty accessible like SSB:melee and a game with a blip near the edge might indicate the need for at least a specialized degree to be even the slightest bit comprehensible like a late 80s/early 90s RPG or superhuman reflexes like most NES games.

also it should have a cat on it; no wheel or rating system is complete without a cat.

This is a bold attempt at game genre defining but there will always be some counter-example to crack it.
Case in point, Demon's souls. It's mostly action oriented but anyone who has played knows the great deal of planning ahead and strategy it involves, especially in boss battles. It's extremely heavy on RPG elements. In fact, the only non-rpg thing about it is the combat, so you might as well use the old label "action RPG" to classify it.
How about games like Bejeweled? It's a family-puzzle game yet it doesn't involve exploration at all.
This chart offers a too Black and white approach I'm not sure I agree with.

Nojh:

So I need to disagree with some of your placements. I can't see how Plants vs Zombies has any real exploration elements. I could see how someone might consider the zombies to be "surviving the environment" but is that really exploration or is it simply just conflict?

PvZ should be even more to the left of the chart!
You're seldom actively in conflict with the zombies, mostly you're focusing on placing the plants, battling with lack of space, fog, barren terrain and the *type* of zombies, but rarely single zombies. They're mostly stacked up on each other and you don't pay much attention to them, except if it's a giant and you have to place bombs to kill him, that would be a direct conflict part.

Nojh:

Also I contest your placement of Diablo 2. We call it an action-RPG because back in the day, it was one of the first RPGs to let you walk around and hit things in real time but if you analyze the gameplay, It is mostly all your stats. You move and you click a lot, occasionally hitting other buttons to fire off different more complicated abilities. In otherwirds you have a mostly indirect influence on what is happening on the screen. Diablo is also all about looking around enviroments and finding loot. Classic exploration. Conflict is where things are a little iffy in my opinion. For the most part all the creatures you find in diablo aren't really in anyway similar to you. They're all "trash" mobs that are pretty much apart of the background and environment. Only a few of the bosses, Diablo in particular, stand out as something that you go toe to toe against, which is why I say it straddles the SE/SCE line. Which would ironically place it more as Adventure or RPG than the ususal "Action-RPG" we call it.

Are you kidding/trolling me? :D

Not having enough real conflict is what most of the Diablo2 clones do wrong.
In D2, you can escape the trajectory of missiles, so can the enemies. Position is imperative. Flash-like reflexes are also.

Trash mobs... Have you been in hell? Hardcore + hell?
Of course when you're 99 and all geared up, most mobs are trash, but on the way to there, there are enough things which can easily kill you in a second or two if you're not paying attention.

Btw, since when do enemies need to be as strong as you? Then you wouldn't be able to kill hordes of them, now where's the fun in that =)

Bosses being toe-to-toe with you? Wtf? They are insanely imba (Duriel) or can 2 hit you (Mephisto, Diablo) if you're not careful and cheese them.

Don't take it personal if it's not true, but you sound like you haven't played much of D2.

Do you know what an Adventure is? Monkey Island. That's an Adventure. Not D2.

econael:

Do you know what an Adventure is? Monkey Island. That's an Adventure. Not D2.

That's true, he's right here. People seem to confuse it with "Action/Adventure"

Trying to come up with a better way to categorise games is a noble endeavor (I think I just love categorising things). I'm not sure if you've quite pulled it off though. It fails the intuition test for me. Some genres that are meant to go together (like music and platforming) don't really feel similar to me even though I can see at an intellectual level what they have in common.

The genre wheel suggests I should like survival horror because I like music games and platformers, but I don't because I don't like horror in general. I also like shooters but not fighters for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. I have friends who love action adventure but hate driving. I'm not sure if the categories really feel right on close examination.

I think for a lot of games like music games or horror games, to ignore the content is to miss the point. I think this objection generalises to some extent to almost all games. I'm not sure that categorising games by their fundamental mechanics rather than their content really is a better way of doing it. Even if it were, I don't think you've quite managed to create a convincing system for categorising games that way.

Good effort, well worth doing, but no dice for me I'm afraid.

I really like this wheel. Sure, with continually blending genres it needs a centre option with ACSE, but I understand your explanation for excusing it. Also, where do bejeweled and other such simple games place here? Seems like it would be S only, or maybe even SA, neither of which exist on your wheel.

dastardly:
But if it did, would that really make Civ a "brawler"? Would the "brawler elements" be worth assigning the label to the game? See, the question we're getting into here isn't whether or not you could assign a particular label to part of a game, but rather whether or not you should.

One of the topics covered in the "Breaking the Genre Contract" article deals with the expectations that come with what you put on a product's label. If you deem the "brawler elements" enough to mention it in the marketing, you're telling potential players that these elements constitute a significant part of the game--so much so that fans of brawlers would have enough reason to buy, play, and enjoy this game.

It would be one thing to mention the inclusion of subgames on the box. It would be another thing to behave as though the game is cross-genre. That's the distinction that I think is important, because I think too many of us are too willing to assign that label to our personal favorites. Look through this thread, and find how many people think games like Fallout 3 or WoW represent all styles of gameplay, when it's obvious that one or two styles dominate the landscape.

Genre headings aren't trophies. A game isn't necessarily "better" the more genre headings it can collect. And there are plenty of games that grow beyond the normal confines of their own genre, but those games don't necessarily branch into other genres. We sometimes behave as though we can claim our favored game is better by attributing other genre headings to it like badges or ribbons, but it's just not the case. Mislabeling a game with extra genre tags is apt to lead to unrealistic (and thus unmet) expectations.

When assigning a genre heading/label to a game, the priority isn't whether or not a particular label is possible, but rather it is useful in providing clear information to potential players.

Decide if the game is truly laid across multiple genres, or if the "extras" are just side items... or even just seasoning.

I agree that people (including myself) tend to see the games they like as truly well rounded and multidimensional, but in that case, what constitutes a cross genre game? I mean that in terms of both the characteristics of such a game and actual examples of cross genre games. Or do they not exist?

beefpelican:
I agree that people (including myself) tend to see the games they like as truly well rounded and multidimensional, but in that case, what constitutes a cross genre game? I mean that in terms of both the characteristics of such a game and actual examples of cross genre games. Or do they not exist?

I really think in order to be a true cross-genre game, in terms of this wheel, you just need to decide whether each particular style represents a significant portion of the game. This is as opposed to games with supposed "rpg elements," which usually just means a menu of skills that provide slight bonuses.

It's hard to pull off because each of the dimensions of this wheel are composed of two essentially opposite styles of play. That means it's harder to work in two styles that are truly on different sides of the wheel. I mean, if the two genres were similar enough to be on the same side, it would simply just be a separate genre in between the two.

Action/Strategy: This has to do with whether the gameplay is immediate (in terms of timing and proximity to your character) or more distant (giving you more time to think, or less direct ties to your character). It's hard to have both types of gameplay in the same game, because splitting a game between the two of these 50/50 would make the game feel all-over-the-map.

Conflict/Environment: Whether the opposition is direct (in the form of enemies) or indirect (in the form of competition or the environment). It's easier to blur boundaries along this axis, but even then, including the "conflict" side at all will tend to dominate the player's perception of the opposition. Enemies are more threatening than holes in the ground.

Looking into it, I think the proper question is so much whether it's possible to have a cross-genre game, but rather whether it's worth the effort to create on that doesn't feel like one shoe and one glove, rather than a pair of either.

eightbitsprite:

bolastristes:

Who the hell buys a game for Itīs genre!? : fanboys and casual gamers.

Personally, donīt give a damn about genres, for me Itīs just good games and bad games.

I honestly donīt see a real point of this article.

Uh... no. Yes, there's good games and there's bad games. But genre matters. Some people just don't like certain types of genres(like Yahtzee with RTS games), and may just like other ones better. I'm more interested in platforming games than, say, simulation games, and more in music games, than, say fighters. Anyways, that statement's like saying, "Who the hell buys a book for it's genre?" or "Who the hell watches a movie for it's genre?". I could post a very long paragraph on that statement, explaining why that statement's false, but I don't really have the time because of finals and studying. But here's a question: If you felt tired, and depressed, what kind of music would you want to listen to?
It's fine if you don't care about genres, but I'm willing to bet many other gamers out there do.

I like this wheel, but I agree with Dastardly about how 'Exploration' and 'Conflict' should be changed to 'Direct' and 'Indirect'. The example with racing games makes sense. :D
Also, I can see the point for a 'center' section, "ASCE", but that section might also get overused. On the other hand, it'd be great for hard-to-classify games. The way I see it, the concept is there, and it's solid. It just needs some tweaks. I'm not sure if this idea will catch on, but it'd be awesome if it does!

Gee, I donīt know, really, I read all kind of books, I watch all kind of movies, I play all kind of games and I listen to all kind of music. I love Buņuel, I love John Woo, I love Hitchcock and I love Leone, I love Iron Maiden, I love Ella Fitzgerald, I love Public Enemy and I love Johnny Cash, I love Borges, I love Bolaņo, I love Neruda and I love H.P Lovecraft, I love Silent Hill, I love Final fantasy, I love The King of the fighters and I love Zelda... I can see WHY there are genres, I know genres, I know how to identify them. Of course that we prefer some genres over others, but thatīs got nothing to do with the genre itself.
I just didnīt liked the approach of the article.

ĻAnd yet, when it comes right down to it, our brand of games journalism is largely aimed at helping you decide how to spend your hard-earned money. Our approach to reviews is, after all, not based on some self-indulgent "games are art" philosophy; it's based on helping you decide what to buy.Ļ

Whatīs this?, for me, this is offensive, what am I?, a kid?, I mean, at first I thought this was supposed to be funny, I was expecting a punchline, but Mr Pitts was actually serious.

Anyway, Ļsorry to post my personal opinionĻ.

PunkrawkBbob:

bolastristes:

Russ Pitts:
Introducing The Escapist's Genre Wheel

The Escapist breaks games down to their basics and devises a genre classification system that covers all (ok, almost all) of the bases.

Read Full Article

Who the hell buys a game for Itīs genre!? : fanboys and casual gamers.

Personally, donīt give a damn about genres, for me Itīs just good games and bad games.

I honestly donīt see a real point of this article.

Well aren't you posh? Nobody buys a game for it's genre... but you're naive if you think that genres don't suggest whether or not you'd enjoy a game. For example, I know I will not like any sports games ever. The subject matter bores me. Also, anything that is remotely RTS related will turn me away as I blow at them. This causes me to not have any fun, so I ignore the genre as a whole. That being said, I don't think it's implied that someone will buy a game just because of it's genre, it still has to be good. IE - "Ya, you should pick up Alundra. It's kinda like a Zelda type game".

Well, yes, I can see your point, but a Ļ3 pageĻ article?, Iīm just saying that thereīs a lot more than meets the eye, who directed the game, who made the score, who designed the gameplay, who designed the characters, etc, etc. Mr Pitts took this subject too seriously, a genre will never be determinant, Itīs just a guideline for newbies or casual gamers, Maybe thatīs why I felt a little bit offended with this article... I mean, Shinji Mikami for instance, he made survival horror games, a beat em up, and third person shooters, Is the genre determinant here?, no, not at all, I personally loved those games, I loved RE, I adored Godhand and I loved Vanquish, and not because I loved R.E I have to love ALL Survival horror games...
The same with sport games, I donīt play sport games, but not because of the genre, I donīt play them, cause Sega was the only company who knew how to made them...PES may be the only next gen sport game that I really love and respect though.Anyway, the point is that I (and every educated gamer) should buy a game for Itīs authors, not for Itīs genre.

i could be wrong here but i dont think exploration in this context necessarily means uncovering the fog of war or shouting "land ho!" but more examining things in depth, game mechanics (like torturing sims) and the pretty colors the gems make while you-do unspeakable addictive time-sink things that i cant bring myself to name without reinstalling.

also im pretty sure this is just meant to supplement the whole "review" bit of a review, which says things like how the mechanics mesh, how well the art style fits and any notable designers who might have worked on it-if not please add my voice to the pitchforks and torches crowd(or more practically and greener(because who has a pitchfork? have you ever tried to run with a lit torch!?) lighters flashlights and maybe frying pans? wrenches? normal forks?)

this is great however it is stmped by minecraft as it is all four

Delusibeta:

coolguy5678:
(I'm also not sure why you put music games where you did. Take Guitar Hero - ignoring Star Power, it's entirely devoid of strategy. The game literally tells you what the optimum set of input is.)

I don't follow. Music games are in Action/Exploration, which seems fair.

Indeed, AE sounds fair. The issue is that it should be as far as possible on the A side of the A/S axis, since music games have (almost) no strategy element. But you can't do that without sacrificing the E/C distinction, so I'm really just providing an example for my first point.

Sweet chart. Nice work there guys!

To those who are "seeing problems" (i.e. action-RPG), I don't see any problems identifying something as action and RPG at the same time. Comma separated, of course. If you want just one of them, find the dominant genre and call it that dominant genre X plus-some-elements-of-Y.

Hmmm. An interesting notion though it causes me a few personal conflicts about how things fit.

Where would you place the Legend of Zelda for instance?

It's commonly considered an RPG or an Action Adventure game depending on who you ask, but it's main gameplay features revolve around solving environmental puzzles and fighting things. (although, to be fair, bosses are also often puzzles of a sort, but you still need quite good reflexes.)

The contradictions a game like this presents would lead towards trying to shift it towards the middle of opposing areas.

Further, while you might be able to group certain things together as being similar, this too presents problems when I consider my own tastes;

What am I to make of liking platformers, but disliking survival horror?

Or finding Real time strategy OK, while hating sports games?

In fact, going through how all the existing genres supposedly fit onto this system, it strikes me how many supposedly closely related game styles there are where I quite like one type, but dislike the other.

Then again, while I have preferences, and certain types of thing that I dislike, I play just about anything in the end, so I guess what turns me off about a game has little to do with it's genre.

Great idea! Love the concept.

I think people are focusing far too much on the words on the outside of the graph. I'd say that they're there simply for one reason: clarification. They are for a general sampling of games of that genre.

In that light, many of the problems being discussed simply become problems of deciding where on the wheel certain games fall. The genre titles can be viewed more as guidelines.

Next, cross-genre games. If you aren't going to (effectively) ignore the genres on the outside of the graph, then decide which parts the game is based on, and go from there. Even in that case, there will always be games that defy this chart. There will never be a perfect chart, but this is a one of the better ones.

Anyway. If we view this from a mildly art perspective, you've got to remember that complementary colors make brown when combined. Make of that what you will. Next, colors nearby to each other can clash horribly when placed next to each other. Just because you like one game doesn't mean you're bound to like similar games. In fact, they game you dislike may have elements that you liked in the other, but either don't quite fit with the one you do like or you just hate it.

The last way I'd say you can use this chart is not to assign games around the outside, but give them varying distances from the center. For instance, a game that is equal parts of all 4 would go straight in the middle (minecraft has been given as an example.)

I'm gonna stop now. If you want more of my opinion, ask.

Wow, this is really nice.

Takes a deeper look at what video game genres are and can be.

You forgot "Sexy" games. Like DOA: Beach Volleyball, or Sexy Beach 3.

I mean, how could you forget such an important genre of videogaming!??!? /endsarcasum

What about the so-called "action rpg" genre, where a very well designed game can find itself squarely in the middle of strategy, exploration, conflict and action?
Though, that may explain why most action rpgs tend to feel incomplete in some aspects.

Otherwise I found it quite comprehensive; a good, logical look at where relative games seem to fit in. I find myself in a bit of everything on the wheel, as well as wondering why the action/conflict hemisphere is the only one that tends to be recognized as "video game" by people outside of the "gamer" group. They'll still recognize that others within the circle as games, but if asked to define games through a frame of reference, most people will think first and foremost of halo, call of duty and gears of war (assuming they recognize these titles). Why is it that those games define the industry to outsiders more than civilization, mass effect, silent hill, dragon age, gran tourismo, the sims, guitar hero and even wii sports?

A sound idea.

Odd thing for me though is, what I do and don't like seems to be fairly evenly spread around the entire wheel - which is a bit... disconcerting.

i.e. the Games I like include (but are no means limited to):
- Civilization Series (SC Turn-Based Strategy)
- C&C Pre-Generals (ASC Real-Time Strategy)
- Runescape and the Zelda Series (SCE RPG)
- The Sims 1, 3 (SE Simulation)
- NFS: Shift, Gran Turismo 5 (ASE Vehicle Simulation)
- Mario, Commander Keen (AE Platforming)
- GTA Pre-4, Timesplitters (ACE Driving & Action Adventure?)

I find it odd that my tastes seem to be so evenly spread about the wheel. Infact, the only segment I do not appear to like is AC.

Often when people ask me what games I like, I reply "Games which are fun" - the same with music and film. There are no particular genres that I seem to love over others. I simply enjoy media which I find to be good. True, my what I "like" and what I "dislike" tends to focus more on certain areas, like I would say a large majority of my favourite music resides in 80s rock'n'roll, electronic, pop and classical. But I think that is more down to gravitating toward areas I have most experience in. In most cases where someone highly recommends a game to me and I get it despite thinking it won't be for me, I will like it. Not because of it's particular genre, but simply because it is a good, compelling, enjoyable game. For example, I bought minecraft just to see what the fuss was about - i couldn't really see how it would an enjoyable game, at least for me, but I (after working out what the hell i was supposed to do: note to notch, a tutorial is badly needed) found I thourougly enjoyed the game, simply because it's well designed and fun. And the things not even in beta yet!

Do I just defy the formula with my oddness, or am I missing something?

Really cool, but it does forget all the artful indie games in which there is neither strategy nor action. But hey, you said 'most' of the bases, so good job!

Interesting. Will y'all be using these classifications in reviews in the future?

I really, really like this. I think the "genre-defying" games don't necessarily break it, either. Rather, it allows you to look a little more closely at the game. It may also create and interesting situation where the player determines the genre by their own interests: if the game could be on either side of the wheel with equal validity, then the focus that is more important to the player will be the one they identify as dominant. Maybe not the definitive genre chart for this reason, but definitely an effective and useful one.

(And depending on how relative you think the truth is, maybe it is definitive)

I do think many games can go in several genres, action rpg, survival horror puzzler etc.

Also as a puzzle game geek, little disapointed that puzzle and family are in the same section...

As always though really truely impressed by the level of debate on the escapist. Keep it up everyone.

Awesome job. I'm sure I'll argue more when I'm not coming off a 6 hour dwarf fortress bender....

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