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The World of Computer Gaming

The Different Genres Of Video Games

Another aspect to consider in thinking about potential career paths in the video game industry is that of genre. A video game genre is simply a specific type of video game. For example, sports games, first-person shooters (FPS), and role-playing games are all different genres of video games. Because the development and production processes may vary depending on the genre, many development and production teams work exclusively in one or two video game genres. It is important to consider what genres you enjoy and believe your passions and talents would be most compatible with.


Whether they're based on a national pastime such as baseball or football, or on a more free-form extreme sport, like snowboarding or skateboarding, sports games give players an opportunity to live their athletic fantasies. Players either take the role of their favorite teams or players, or create their own teams or players to beat the competition with their fast reflexes and strategic playmaking. John Madden Football and Tony Hawk Pro Skater are examples of popular sports video games.

Racing and Vehicle Simulation Games

Racing games focus on the simulation of getting behind the wheel of vehicles most of us will never have the opportunity to drive or fly. Whether you like wheeling around a wacky track in a go-cart or racing a photo-realistic Formula 1 car, racing games are tailor-made for the speed demon in all of us. Vehicle simulation games include flight simulators and all other vehicle simulation programs that focus heavily on realism and accuracy. Popular games in this genre include Gran Turismo, Mario Kart, and Microsoft Flight Simulator.


Starting with games such as Pong and Pac-Man, the action/adventure genre was the first genre in the video game industry and is still the most popular. The action/adventure genre contains many subgenres, but all of them have one thing in common—fast-paced excitement that requires quick reflexes and precise control of the main character. One of the most popular subgenres of action/adventure is the first-person shooter (or FPS), like Halo. The FPS puts you behind the eyes of the main character. Usually, all you can see is your character's hands and feet, and you are immersed in a fully 3-D world in which you are the main character. Other subgenres include the third-person shooter (for example, Resident Evil), fighting games (Street Fighter II), adventure games (The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker), and platform games (Super Mario Bros).


With the immense popularity of games such as The Sims (the best-selling computer game of all time), the simulation genre has become one of the most important and financially successful genres in the video game industry. Simulation games give you an opportunity to manage the day-to-day functions of entire cities, worlds, families, theme parks, or almost anything else you can imagine being in charge of. For example, in The Sims, the player is given control of a simulated human being and tasked with building that character a home, finding him or her a career, and eventually starting a family. For people who love playing in a giant virtual sandbox in which the ability to destroy or create at will is in their hands, simulation games offer a unique, immersive experience. Rollercoaster Tycoon is another popular simulation game.

Role-Playing Games

Also referred to as RPGs, role-playing games take their inspiration from dice-based games such as Dungeons & Dragons. RPGs often involve “leveling up” your character in order to progress in the game by completing certain missions or tasks. Most RPGs still work on the dice-based gameplay mechanics, only the rolling of the dice happens behind the scenes and often in real-time. For example, in your average fantasy-based RPG, if your level 9 Warrior attacks a level 9 Troll, the RPG engine is usually “rolling the dice” behind the scenes to see how much damage your player will take and/or receive. RPGs are great for gamers who love long-lasting, often nonlinear, character-management gameplay experiences that borrow heavily from the fantasy worlds of swords and sorcery. Final Fantasy is a fine example of an RPG.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCool Science CareersThe World of Computer Gaming - The Initial Concept, Preproduction, Production, The Different Genres Of Video Games, Strategy And Real-time Strategy