Gaming has become something of a badge that most adolescents wear proudly. It’s at these younger ages that gaming takes hold and the journey from console to computer to mobile games can happen. Today, most toddlers are already gaming on their parent’s iPhones! I know my 4-year old nephew is a pro at a certain racing game.
Growing up in the 80’s, I did my fair share of gaming on my Nintendo. Yup, the original Nintendo folks. Then after that a SNES, Dreamcast, and then Game Cube until I stepped away from gaming for a long time. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it anymore; just my attention was spent in other areas. But as anyone knows, being away from video games even for a short amount of time can result in the genre passing you by. And that’s what happened.
I did get my LAN party pants on though multiple times in college playing Command and Conquer and Age of Mythologies with my nerdy crew. But I still see myself as a non-gamer these days. I did make some steps toward getting back into gaming with a PS4 purchase last Christmas for the big release of Star Wars Battlefront. I’m still a noob and die more times than not but I have so much fun playing as a Stormtrooper or my favorite Star Wars hero that I don’t really care how much about the stats at the end. I suppose that’s definitely a non-gamer’s assessment because I know that most gamers are very competitive and really do care about number of kills, deaths, head shots, etc. And that’s not a knock; more of a respect thing I have for you all who both enjoy and have passion for gaming.
With that said, I don’t shy away from trying out some games I never played before. Gaming still is exciting and fun for me even though I don’t do much if it now. So let’s jump into the types of gaming out there! (*Just to note there may be more types of games out there but I’m going to discuss only a few for sanity sake!)
First Person Shooters (FPS)
First person shooting games play out the game in your perspective. So you’re the one wielding that epic gun and shooting down your enemies like a boss. FPS games include Call of Duty, Doom, Battlefield, Bioshock, Destiny, and even Goldeneye (for those not-so-young gamers out there). Most likely you’ve had a friend or friends who are deeply invested in these games. You couldn’t walk down my college dorm without hearing the sweet lullabies of Counterstrike coming from both sides of the hall.
Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO)
MMO’s are primarily played over a LAN or the Internet and uses a network for players to interact with each other. Being on the internet allows players to play with people all over the world in these fantastical environments. MMO games include World of Warcraft, Marvel Heroes, Guild Wars, Rift, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
Real-Time Strategy games are a subgenre of strategy video games that moves in real-time where players can play all at the same time without taking turns. Similar to other wargames, players build up their inventory of armies and structures to systematically take over a map or destroy their opponents. These were the most fun playing in college with my nerdy crew, since everyone basically built up what forces they could and then attacked. RTS games include Warcraft, Age of Empires, StarCraft, Command & Conquer, and Age of Mythology.
Action Adventure games typically are single player games that are set in a fantasy or adventure world. The gameplay includes solving puzzles in order to move onward. And, usually revolve around a character’s back story and mission. The fun is trying to complete that mission as said character. Action Adventure games include Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Uncharted, Hitman, Metal Gear Solid, Far Cry, and the Batman: Arkham series (Asylum, City, and Origins).
Simulation games usually involve taking control of real-life vehicles such as planes, tanks, and ships. One facet of this genre involves professional training to learn how to control certain vehicles such as flight simulators. Another big part of this genre includes the life simulation game, The Sims, which is basically a large sandbox for players to do whatever they want since there are no specific goals. Players control virtual characters, direct their moods, and satisfy their desires.
Combat or fighting games were a staple growing up with older male cousins. We would play Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat at family parties, and when someone would get beaten, the controller was passed on. Majority of the time, my older cousins would cycle through the younger ones quickly. Combat games include Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Super Smash Bros, Marvel vs. Capcom, and League of Legends.
Role Playing Games (RPG)
Role playing games allow those who love fantasy to play out these desires as a hero, for example, and make decisions that effect the outcome of their games’ story line. Typically, these games have narrative guides. Some RPGs transcend other genres such as MMOs like World of Warcraft or Adventure like Tomb Raider. RPGs include World of Warcraft, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, The Witcher, The Elder Scrolls, Deus Ex, and Minecraft.
Sports games are a dime a dozen and typically resonate with those people who enjoy the sport. Go figure! I’m a huge soccer fan and love playing FIFA, especially when my friends are on the same time. The technical skill to pass the ball to each other in the game is so difficult, whereas in real life, it’s pretty simple. But in this virtual gameplay, we can play as famous and skilled players like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. You’ve probably seen all the adverts for all the sports game but they include FIFA, Madden, NBA, NHL, MLB, Rocket League, and Techmo Bowl.
As you can see, there are a tons of gaming genres out there and what I mentioned above isn’t all of them! Gaming spans over consoles, computers, and mobile as well. And it’s such a big part of our pop culture as well as childhood (and adulthood) that new games and consoles will continue to pop up. As for me, a non-gamer who loves games of all kinds, being able to relive a bit of my own childhood is pretty awesome, may it be via console or arcade. All I can say is keep on gaming!