What does your preferred gaming genre say about you?

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Matt Barton's picture

What does your genre say about you?What does your genre say about you?I've been thinking a lot lately about the personality differences among gamers. Some of us love RTS; others are bored to death by them. Some would happily play SHMUPS (ahem, Mark) until they collapse, whereas others find them frustrating or even tedious. In short, there is a broad spectrum of games out there to enjoy, and I'm wondering what your preferred genre says about you.

Read on to see what your favorite genre says about you!

If your favorite genre is...

Adventures. You enjoy fantasy and escaping the humdrum of daily existence, which probably doesn't satisfy you. You have vivid dreams and enjoy feeling intelligent, yet in touch with your emotions. If you veer more towards the LucasArts/Sierra style adventures, I'd say you're young at heart and find humor even where most people don't. This could manifest itself in a zany personality, or someone who likes to make quips.

If you're more into Myst and the abstract puzzle solving adventures, you enjoy analyzing a situation and putting together clues. You probably also enjoy history and museums, particularly the pre-historic and very ancient cultures. You probably aren't very religious, though, and like to think everything has a nice solution if you're just patient enough to find it.

CRPGs. You're a perfectionist, obsessed with detail, and a "finisher." You're able to think about the long-term and don't mind putting work into your projects--the endless little details that add up to greatness. Your constant desire for perfection probably permeates all other areas of your life, including just being in traffic--couldn't they work out a system that would make the traffic flow more efficiently?

Fighting. You're a scrapper, concerned always with being the alpha male and able to defend yourself--intellectually as well as physically. You are a good at winning arguments, though probably frustrated in love.

FPS. You like to think of yourself as the lone warrior, the brave, strong individual who makes all the difference in a moment of real crisis. You're general attitude in life is "bring it on!" You don't mind planning things, but most of the time you'd rather just jump in and get things done--your way. You don't like fiddling over details or getting bogged down in needless conversation or meetings.

Racing/Driving. You're a hands-on type who enjoys remarkable craftsmanship. You can appreciate high performance and like being praised for your expertise. You enjoy being respected and admired by people you care about. If you've got kids, you're probably a good dad, though your relationship with your spouse might be volatile.

SHMUPs. You're calm, collected, and not a guy that always goes flying off the handle. You enjoy unwinding with a nice game, but you don't want a game to take over your life. You don't tend to get obsessed, and have an easier time taking things in moderation. Sometimes you might worry about being too boring or predictable, so you try to spice things up by indulging your quirks and eccentricities. It's okay being weird, but don't get carried away.

Strategy. The classic control freak. You like bringing order to chaos, finding ways to make things more efficient and predictable. However, you realize that brawn isn't the way--you often just need an innovative idea to turn the tables. When presented with a difficult problem, you like to lay everything out on the table and think about all the possibilities before making a decision.

I'm hard-pressed to select my favorite genre, since I like three of them almost equally: CRPGs, strategies, and adventures. I typically rotate between World of Warcraft, Civilization, and whatever adventure game I'm currently playing (right now it's Darkstar). However, I spend the most time with the first two, and although they're quite different, I can see a lot of similarities. For instance, both require long periods of careful attention, long-term planning, and, let's face it, lots of tedious repetition (work). Both also utilize a sort of expanding tree mechanic, so you get more options as you play. In WoW, this means new talents and abilities for your character. In Civ, it means new kinds of units, buildings, and so on. Usually the new item is always just around the corner, so you play for that additional time to get it. Then you feel obligated to try it out, and next thing you know, you're hooked until the next treat.

I've thought about what an interest in these sort of games entail, and basically think it comes down to control. I seem to have a personality type that likes knowing what's going on, what everyone else is doing, and a steady drive towards improving the situation. This is reflected in many aspects of my life, such as an interest in working out (I especially like the idea of making slow but steady progress towards being healthy), work (I would despise life if I were stuck in a dead-end job with no possibility of promotion), learning (I'm always reading non-fiction and listening to podcasts to try to learn more), and even beer (I always try new ones with the idea of eventually trying them all). These traits drive some of my friends and loved ones crazy, particularly my wife, who is very much in the "be content with what you have" mindset. That causes a lot of friction between us, since I can't ever imagine a point in my life when I would just be purely satisfied and not have any more goals left to work for. Indeed, the very phrase "Be happy with what you got" rankles me.

In any case, both Wow and Civ aren't designed for easily contented people. They THRIVE on people like me, who love the idea of building up and expanding out, increasing our power and influence in steady, predictable ways. For me, it's the discipline they require and control they award that makes them so enjoyable.

What about you? What is your favorite genre, and what does it say about your personality? Maybe there's a type of genre whose fans you've learned to steer clear of? :)

Comments

Mani (not verified)
Happy with What you've got and pursuing the next thing

Excellent read. I'm curious about what the future holds and so many games in so many genres appear to cater to microniches.
I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I've learned that by being grateful for what I have and enjoying it while keeping and eye on and striving for the next tier and some crazy dreams keeps me sane.

I've been mainly into the music games- Deep into the music games because that's what brought me in and a shared interest with the rest of my family. When I go into the Fight Night the crowd thins quickly on family game night.

Jonathon Wisnoski (not verified)
Nice Article

Interesting read, but it never did deliver on the promised "What does your preferred gaming genre say about you?"

Matt Barton
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I'm not psychic
Jonathon Wisnoski wrote:

Interesting read, but it never did deliver on the promised "What does your preferred gaming genre say about you?"

Well, that's why it's posed as a question. :)

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Mayhem and destruction

I am a keen shmup-fan ever since I first laid my eyes on one. It's the twitch reflexes of Arcade games that get me into an almost medative state I often refer to as 'the zone'. It is very much like becoming 'one' with the avatar on screen and just be and move.

I always think a lot and my brain never is at rest. Even in my sleep I am known to solve riddles, puzzles, problems and solutions even as a kid. So martial arts and arcade games brought me peace from an early age on. I guess that's why I am a keen shmup (retro arcade game)-fan.

As a kid I was always building, constructing and carefully putting back together the clock, radio or other machines that I took apart. Often succeeding in taking apart and putting back together the apparatus without impairing its function. Just the sheer destruction and mayhem of the shmup and getting away with it - also found in the First Person Shooter Genre - is something that does appeal to me as well.

The love of retrogaming also comes from the fact that I was able to create similar things myself on the C64, MSX, Speccy back in the day. Simple arcade games using the joystick/keyboard of various genres. I vividly remember programming a Galaxian type game using a combination of sprites and character graphics. A lot of these attempts at games have been lost due to water damage back in the day. Same goes for my musical taste. Anything I am happy to sing along with, am able to sing along with or do my thing with is something I am attracted to.

I do love adventure games and even simulation games - running my own home time in the shape of SimCity was amazing to me. Free exploration games are my favorite, especially when there's a nice mythical or scifi narrative included.

Oh perhaps my love of SciFi also reflects in my love of Shmups as the spaceship-alien thing is often found in this genre too.

So I guess my musical taste, taste in games does say something about me as a person. Yet at the same time I also venture outside of my comfort zone when it comes to music, games and movies.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Well with no hard research at

Well with no hard research at all I do believe FPS draw the lowest form of gamer if Xbox Live is an indication. I must admit I think its more about pure numbers, so many players so many more bad apples. As a LONG term online player i can honestly say the player base is MUCH MUCH worse than its ever been. But again that may be a pure numbers game again. There are alot more people playing online so its far easier to run across that player who rubs you wrong. maybe Im just older and grumpier (very real possability). I know Im a huge WoW player, but over 2 months ago I run across a player that totally rubbed me the wrong way and I havent played since.. I will but it sucked all the fun out of the game for me. And it was so annoying, i should have let it slide, but I do take some pride in my ability in the game... but geez its a game, i should know better.. I have spent 5 years playing it and before that EQ for 7 and never was that annoyed... gotta be age..Im turning into my DAD or GRANDPA!!!!! hehe not so bad if its my dad :)

I have a passion for most games, but some more thant others. If i had to pick favorites, RTS would top the list for me for sure, with FPS and MMORPG a close second almost tied with first. But my habits have changed. I would ahve picked a game like EOB or Dungeon Master back when they where new. The Serria type game would be very low on my list for SOLO play, with a friend they can be some of the most fun IMHO, but i hate to play them by myslef. Turn based strat games use to ocupy me for hours, but I cant handle them much nowdays. Game like Empire:Total War a love hate, I loike the RTS battles, but hate the turn based part...

As for type of player, i spend at least 2-4 hours most nights playing during week (especialy now in winter), not as much on weekends, and in summer seldom any gaming on weekends, and lots less during week depending on weather. Single, older gamer, I play way more games than I watch tv at least 10 to 1 ratio.. Im a Sci Fi/ Fantasy fan who does try to catch some of those shows ( but only if they are on Netflix so i can watch when i want). I am a a bit of a loner, I spend times with freinds about 2X a week, almost every weekend for sure. I DO NOT tweet, facebook, txt or spend hours on the phone with my freinds (most hate that about me, I dont answer txts, i call if its somthing aht needs to be talked about.. I also hate tlkin on phone when we can get togther). I have the sterotype thing going, slighlty overwiegth (not horribley but needs some work) dont dress trendy, and dont do anything trendy. I hve one anti-gamer thing that I do think is (lucky) nice.. I seem to attract younger girls... my last 3 GF's where all 10 years + younger than me (but i do and have dated girls my age).. so that means I'm far more imature or ... i'm fun... have to ask them... of course the fact that are all ex's maybe speaks volumes too.. so the GF less video game dork... doesnt fit me like a glove.. more like a ok fiting glove..

Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Well.....

I love Survival Horror so that is all I have to say about that lol!
a friend of mine loved strategy and simulations growing up, it was fun for him but he has always had a very analytical mind and likes to figure things out, that IS his enjoyment, like any other media or entertainment it is great there are so many genres, something surely for everyone.

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Igor Hardy
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Joined: 01/15/2009
Diagnosed by a genre

Interesting idea that - analyzing people's personalities by their favorite genres.

I play mainly adventure games, mostly indie/amateur ones, also some puzzle games and action games - for example in 2010 besides countless adventures I really enjoyed P.B. Winterbottom, Bioshock and Super Meat Boy. I rarely get into strategy games, but I'm quite convinced that's because I'm not used to playing them and I'm not sure what to look for. I love some older RPGs, but the genre has become too repetitive for me (and too much reliant on grinding), or rather I do hate repetition in games in general - it feels to me not like I'm slowly working towards a goal, but like I'm wasting my time.

And I guess that's my most defining trait when it comes to game preferences, and perhaps the main reasons I love adventure games more than other genres - to me every situation in an adventure games feels unique and part of a chain of important events.

I also tend to play unique games, older games, games of historical importance. I rarely pick a sequel when I can check out the original that started a popular series, established a later popular formula. I enjoy focus, simplicity and clarity and am annoyed by overdesign, neverending tutorials, and packing too many mediocre features into one title. I'm rarely impressed by new hardware capabilities, or new technologies already at the moment when they appear - I'm always waiting for some game designer to really prove they are worth something. Very often it takes years.

Chip Hageman
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I've got to agree with Mark.

I've got to agree with Mark. Shmups are where it's at. The first one I played was Space Invaders which just got me hooked... then Galaga firmly cemented things for me. My first computer was (cough) the TI-99/4A and I spent most of my time on that playing Parsec.

CRPG's were an early favorite as well.. Tops being Ultima.. Bards Tale (for which I wrote the Bards Tailor), Shard of Spring (for which I wrote the Shards Tailor), Phantasie, Wizardry, Questron I/II, Legacy of the Ancients, EOB, etc.. but, of course, I had much more time to invest in those games back then.

These days shmups have firmly taken their place as my top genre.. hell, I even run a website dedicated to them.

And what does that say about me?
* I'm time crunched.
* I like the meditative state I reach when navigating barrage patterns.
* I like the adrenalin rush these games give me.
* I like science fiction.
* I like blowing sh*t up. :)

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
SHMUPS

I've got to admit to never liking shmups (gasp, I know). There are a few isolated ones I enjoy very much--such as Blood Money, Satan's Hollow, Xenon, and Galaga--but the majority just don't do much for me. That said, I can understand their appeal--particularly the often brilliant graphics and soundtracks--and the meticulous attention to detail that often goes into the design.

It seems to me that a SHMUPS fan probably has personality traits of being calm under pressure, not usually very anxious, and not someone who likes to analyze things to death. They're probably more comfortable with uncertainty.

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Chris Kennedy
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Joined: 08/31/2008
All over the board

I guess my interests in genres has changed over the years. It has tended to be -

Arcade (early 80s)
Adventure (mid 80s to late 90s)
JRPGs (late 80s to present)
FPS (1991 to 1996. haha! No more than that!)
SHMUPS (Scattered)

Puzzle (various times throughout the 2000s)

Dislikes - FPS, 3D Platformers

Haven't played - MMORPGs

Other mentions (on occasion) - Music games, RTS, driving

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