Conceptual Map of the Main Genres of Video Games [ article ]

The American Psychological Association has released a paper called The Benefits of Playing Video Games. I found the graph called the Conceptual Map of the Main Genres of Video Games particularly interesting.

I think this chart sums up my gaming personality perfectly. All of my favorite genres lean towards non-social: platformers, RPGs, puzzles, and sandboxes… sandboxers… whatever (solo). Sorry ladies, but this gamer prefers to play with himself. ;)

Yeah, besides social media games, of which I only actually play Candy Crush Saga, all the game I pretty much play are anti-social. Yay, anti-socialness! In all honesty, if I could play Candy Crush Saga without interacting with anyone for lives or tickets I most definitely would. I just feel awkward asking people I haven’t seen for over a decade to give me stuff. Still, it beats the alternative where I have to pay actual money to King a.k.a. the creators of Bejeweled Candy Crush Saga to get stuff. That’ll never happen.


  • r1nka

    Weird that they have included solo and multi-versions for some genres and not for others.

    Also, they seem to have missed the genre of, what it feels like, half of recent games, which is action-adventure (Zelda, Uncharted, God of War, Assassins Creed and so on…).

    • Steve Napierski

      I believe they mention in the article about how certain titles have multiplayer, but in general they are still considered a certain genre. As such, The Legend of Zelda (newer versions) and Assassins Creed would be considered sandbox (solo). Uncharted, though I think there should be another category personally, would be shooter (solo). And God of War would be Hack ‘n Slash.

  • Kaye

    To quote one of the guys from the video game club on campus:
    “No way in hell are fighting games under shooters in complexity.”

    It takes a lot of character learning to be great at fighting games, especially ones like Tekken Tag 2 that have hundreds of unique combos to choose from with over 50 characters in the roster.

    • Steve Napierski

      Maybe they’re just taking the average person who simply mashes buttons and the required complexity level for fighting games.

      • Krixous

        Well that all depends on what type of player you are i mean a vast majority of players in shooters just run and gun or camp but the strategic and skilled ones are the ones that go like 23-2 and shit like that in games while the vast majority of people who do fighting games will mash buttons with the few that do learn the combos and shit be the people who would go like 23-2 in winning matches against the button masher it’s all a matter of perspective and skill level to determine the complexity of both.

        • Steve Napierski

          I’m not defending their choice, I’m just offering up a possible reason for why they might have made it.

        • Triaxx2

          I think they’ve got it down closer to the simple end of the spectrum because it’s much easier to pick up and play than the average multi-player shooter. Mostly because fighters tend to be one-on-one affairs, so you might find yourself fighting one of those 23-2 players, where with a shooter you can end up against several, which makes it a little harder to learn anything, amidst all the kill cams. Been there, done that.

  • CandyCrushAddict

    You don’t need to pay to be able to play Candy Crush, do you? Can’t you just do 3 quests (spaced 24hrs apart) to be able to pass to the next area? That’s what I’ve been doing, anyway, since I don’t want to link my Facebook OR pay anything. Also, I get more levels than those who link or pay. Say what you will, but if I have to spend more time playing the game due to sheer stubbornness, I’d call that a win.

  • Armane

    How is a strategy game social?

  • Brocky

    I don’t think Racing should be lumped under simple. Anyone who has played Forza will agree that it’s not simple.