What does your preferred gaming genre say about you?

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? :)

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Chris Kennedy
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Sports
Rowdy Rob wrote:

Ok, enough with the suspense. What genre am I talking about?

SPORTS!

Hmm. To be fair, I bought the following when they were current -

Basketball -
NBA Live '95

Baseball -
Various Atari 2600 versions
Roger Clemens MVP Baseball
Triple Play '98

Football -
Madden '98

Hockey -
NHL 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001

I just ...don't pick them up anymore.

I suppose I could say it was a glaring omission from my history of games. But you're right, Rob. It was a bit of a "oh yeah....right. Of course" response to a forgotten genre here so far.

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Carmine
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When I made my list of my top

When I made my list of my top 50 games only one sports game made the list. NBA Live 95 was in at spot #35.

Bill Loguidice
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Sports videogames

To me, even though I don't consider myself a sports gamer anymore, a good sports videogame actually can embody the best of what a videogame can be, and can in fact span genres. Think about it, a good sports game can combine role-playing (player management, stats, improvement, etc.), strategy (how can I get my guy or group of guys to outplay a possibly superior opponent) and action (I need good timing to complete the pass, score the goal or block the shot).

The problem with most modern sports videogames is that they've become incredibly complex. While the recent NBA 2K11 is a critical and sales success, and is arguably one of the top basketball EVER (I have it and certainly think it's right up there), and it can be enjoyed on a relatively simple level (just learn the buttons for shooting, passing, blocking and jumping), it has such remarkable depth to it that it can be overwhelming (and I'm not just talking about literally dozens of player control options). That's where I think the disconnect with games like Madden and others like it come in. If you don't want to devote yourself to learning the remarkable nuance to the game - just like if you didn't want to devote yourself to learning the ins and outs of an RPG or RTS - you won't get what all the fuss is about.

In any case, I think the best thing that can be said about a good sports videogame, even one that's skewed to primarily action, is that it can be enjoyed even by those not into the sport itself or sports in general. A good game is a good game. As for me, I LOVED sports videogames right up until about the PS1 era, when they started to get too complex. For me, the fun level dropped because playing casually just wasn't an option. Of course there have been exceptions over the years, but as a general rule, that has been the case.

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Rowdy Rob
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Sports games: the fantasy.
Matt Barton wrote:

In any case, back to the topic, I assume that anyone seriously invested in sports games is probably also a fan of TV sports and such. Thus, all the traits that go along with that apply here, such as affinity for male bonding, love of wings and cheap beer, etc.

I pretty much agree with you on this one. It's not necessarily a perfect stereotype, but pretty much all the "Madden" guys I know fit this description to a tee. While they may cross over into "regular" videogame genres, most of those guys seem like a different breed than a "regular" gamer.

Me, I've definitely dabbled in sports games in the past, with some standouts being "Starleague Baseball," "Hardball," "ABC Sports Boxing," "Virtua Tennis," and so forth. I'm not a baseball fan, but I did greatly enjoy the baseball games of the past. I haven't played a sports game in years, though.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

To me, even though I don't consider myself a sports gamer anymore, a good sports videogame actually can embody the best of what a videogame can be, and can in fact span genres.

Great points. I think if you actually LOVE the sport being simulated, the greatness of the game is even more magnified in your eyes! I think that the majority of sports-loving males had (or have) that secret fantasy of being a sports hero, and these deep sports simulations allow them to live out this fantasy. One of my best friends has heavily played racing sims for as long as I've known him (20 years!), and he gets into it so much that he does is own sports commentary as he's playing the game! "Francis takes the inside lane and passes Gordon. Francis is in the lead!!!" (His ex-girlfriend told me this, I don't think he knows I know... :-) )

I admit I feel this when I'm playing Boxing games.... I imagine myself as the boxer, and the closer to "real life" the game is, with all the nuances of the sport, the more I enjoy it. I really don't feel this when I'm playing "heroes" in other genres.

Do you CRPG'ers get a similar feeling when playing the protagonist in an RPG? Do you imagine yourself as the heroic elven cleric or warrior?

Bill Loguidice wrote:

In any case, I think the best thing that can be said about a good sports videogame, even one that's skewed to primarily action, is that it can be enjoyed even by those not into the sport itself or sports in general. A good game is a good game. As for me, I LOVED sports videogames right up until about the PS1 era, when they started to get too complex. For me, the fun level dropped because playing casually just wasn't an option. Of course there have been exceptions over the years, but as a general rule, that has been the case.

I'm not sure "a good game" and "a good sports game" can always be the same thing. As you mentioned in another (unquoted) paragraph, many of these sports have so many deep nuances, strategies, and rules that it would be incredibly difficult to make them approachable to regular gamers while still being an effective simulation of the sport. Football games are a good example; there's so many "plays," formations, strategies, and so forth to consider. Do you punt on the 4th down, or make a running play to get the first down? Wishbones, quarterback sneaks, defensive formations, etc... the "football gamer" expects to have all these things in the game, but the strategies and rules make the game impenetrable to the casual gamer who may not be familiar with football. But if you make these things "easy," where the computer does the "hardcore" stuff, it doesn't feel like football!

In a way, sports game developers may have boxed themselves into a corner. It's hard to keep improving the formula year after year. If you put out a "simplified" sports game, you probably won't get a lot of "regular" gamers interested, and you'll lose the "hardcore" crowd.

Matt Barton
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Sports Games

I think sports games have evolved over the years to cater more exclusive to sports fans. The oldies (Epyx's Games series, etc.) were skewed to a broader demographic, so that even someone who knew or cared nothing for the sport in question could still enjoy the game. Now, they expect you to be seriously interested and knowledgeable about the professional sport and derive some pleasure from the simulation.

A good example of what I'm talking about is the game Speedball 2. Anybody could have fun with that; no sports skills or knowledge is really expected or required. Compare that to say, any of the Madden games, and you see a huge difference (in audience, mind you, not just graphics and such).

In any case, back to the topic, I assume that anyone seriously invested in sports games is probably also a fan of TV sports and such. Thus, all the traits that go along with that apply here, such as affinity for male bonding, love of wings and cheap beer, etc.

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Bill Loguidice
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Sports videogame genre
Matt Barton wrote:

In any case, back to the topic, I assume that anyone seriously invested in sports games is probably also a fan of TV sports and such. Thus, all the traits that go along with that apply here, such as affinity for male bonding, love of wings and cheap beer, etc.

Not necessarily. I'd consider myself a sports enthusiast and I'm not into any of those things. My main sport is baseball, but I follow football, boxing, basketball and tennis, each to lesser degrees (and if you count bodybuilding as a sport, I follow that very closely). I also like women's track and field and volleyball, but for very different reasons... ;-)

I guess my interest in the sports mentioned above is not enough for me to bother investing time in learning the intricacies of modern sports titles, though I obviously buy them every other year or so. I do see your point though that there is perhaps a corollary for the sports nut stereotype and those who buy the latest Madden and Call of Duty religiously for the "bonding with your 'manly' buddies" thing. That's definitely there.

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Carmine
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Call of Duty is really

Call of Duty is really treated like a sport now. It's not about having fun by any means--just winning and K/D ratio.

clok1966
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I know in the past SPorts

I know in the past SPorts games where some of my favorites. the simple 2600 ones.. Intelvision was the first console with "good" sports games as they where all 2 player, so bad AI never came into it. Madden for the gensis was AWSOME, and as Matt mentioned TV SPORTS!!!!! We had about 4 guys who would play entire seasons/playoff isn TV SPORTS football over and over.. we played all the games and let the PC do the head to heads.. I dont play much nowdays as Bill stated (and i have complained about over and over) i cant handle the complex controls. I must state I love Puzzle games too PUZZLE AGENT on stem is great, Puzzle Quest rocks.

Chris- I dont get my point across very well, sorry. I think most JPRPG's have a good (or good enough) story. I just hate some of the "chit chat" dialog. Im sure some suffer from translation.
The recent FF is easy to make my point as its the last one i can remeber well. The 2 young kids in are Horribly annoying. The boys simple minded hate of person who killed his mother. Its just far to over the top, exagerated. the girls overt happiness/it will all be ok attuitude (while the story shows she inst so happy). The brooding hero type... the silly sidekick comic relief character. its almost like htey are poking fun at JPRPG's in some sneaky way. And the girls VOICE ... it was like sharp glass on my brain. Now .. is this ALL JPrpg's.. nope.. not even close.. But alot are this way.

Persona And Shadow Hearts.. loved um both (and have Persona 4, but have not played it) really nothing bad to say about either (well maybe the silly toys in Shadow hearts.. but I kinda thouhgt that was fun).

I just think the 16 year old orphan revenge/character building save the world thing is overdone. I know there is probebly no more noble cuase then saving the world, but its jsut overdone.

Would a simple 24 year old man/woman raised in a normal home who is thrust into a story be so bad? (and yes a few do this) Does my hero in the game have to be the sad puppy ever time?

If i had to rate my genres it would be

#1 rts
#2 JPRPG
#3 RPG's
#4 MMORPG's

I really like um I do.. And when I point out waht i precieve to be flaws.. I can point out flaws in games I think are truely great.. think of it as saying its awsome, but I would improve it this way...

err the Last FF, I dotn think that one is awsome, i did like it some, but as I say the 2 kids had me wishing i could slap the boy and tell the girl to quite being all suger, its annoying... :)

Bill Loguidice
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I played tons and tons of TV

I played tons and tons of TV Sports Basketball on the Amiga. I loved the create a player/team feature. I'd basically create one superstar who could do it all, and then use my remaining points create defensive-minded team-mates who were poor shooters. I would typically dominate with that strategy. I loved the stat tracking and I loved the arcade style play.

I played lots of TV Sports Football on the TurboGrafx-16. I really loved the passing mechanic in that game where you'd have to lead the receiver. It's a shame it wasn't implemented again.

I don't recall ever playing TV Sports Baseball or Hockey, though I have the latter on the TG-16. I don't think the former saw wide release. I played TV Sports Boxing in one of its many other incarnations, specifically as Wide World of Sports Boxing. That engine was used again and again for boxing games on other platforms, including Caeser's World of Boxing on the CD-i and several of the great Genesis boxing games, like Greatest Heavyweights.

In any case, the TV Sports games were certainly the pinnacle for me. Great graphics, accessibility and stats. You can't ask for anymore, really. It's a shame that that style of game fell out of favor for the uber simulations of today.

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Chris Kennedy
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FF and Persona
clok1966 wrote:

Chris- I dont get my point across very well, sorry. I think most JPRPG's have a good (or good enough) story. I just hate some of the "chit chat" dialog. Im sure some suffer from translation.
The recent FF is easy to make my point as its the last one i can remeber well. The 2 young kids in are Horribly annoying. The boys simple minded hate of person who killed his mother. Its just far to over the top, exagerated. the girls overt happiness/it will all be ok attuitude (while the story shows she inst so happy). The brooding hero type... the silly sidekick comic relief character. its almost like htey are poking fun at JPRPG's in some sneaky way. And the girls VOICE ... it was like sharp glass on my brain. Now .. is this ALL JPrpg's.. nope.. not even close.. But alot are this way.

You know...there are stereotyped roles within the Final Fantasy universe, and it is one thing that does really tick me off. It's as if many years ago the Final Fantasy team decided to cookie cutter some of the roles and each game in the series after that point tended to simply redesign the look of the character and drop in the personality.

I actually didn't mind the voice acting from FFX. The game itself actually ranks fairly high on my list of FF games, however I haven't enjoyed the story in a new Final Fantasy game for over a decade. FFXII had practically no story or plot. FFXIII gave more than FFXII, but it still felt empty.

I do like the way the battle systems have evolved.

Quote:

Persona And Shadow Hearts.. loved um both (and have Persona 4, but have not played it)

Play Persona 4 when you get the chance. I would like to know your thoughts on it.

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