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[edit] What Creates Genre?

Group 1 Here are the criteria of what we believe makes a genre.
Precedence. We use precedence to make comparisons to previous games. If game A is similar to game B then game A is the same genre as game B. This can be helpful for grouping games together

The Game's description. We can learn about the game's genre from its description and we get this from a few sources such as trailers where we see gameplay and can draw comparisons and make decision or what the developers themselves say about the game in a dev diary or on the games on the game's box.

The Game's Mechanics. We can decide a game's genre based purely on gameplay and the mechanics involved. Is there shoot? Is it third or first person perspective? these kinds of things help us figure out the genre

The Gamer's Opinion. Every gamer has his or her own thoughts on genre and which game should fall where and this can greatly impact the decision on genre, however the gaming community at large may also have an opinion on what genre a game is and this can change or modify your own opinion based off of others

The Gamer's Experience. Similar to opinion the gamer's experience of previous titles and genres can greatly impact what genre a game is defined under as well as the shared experiences of other fellow gamers can create a view of a game that places it with a genre

Player Interactions. A game can quickly change pace with the introduction of other players. We are either working with other gamers in a co-operative setting or fighting against them in a competitive one. Each scenario creates a different feel for a game as well as place within a genre

Group 2 Based on what our group discussed, we decided that Genre was based on:

How the game looks: The look of the game can help a person decide the genre. For example, if you are looking at a game screenshot, or a video of the game, and you see the game through a first person view, with a gun in the view point, chances are, you are looking at a first person shooter.

Personal Experience: The personal experience of playing other games can strongly effect how you see genres in other games. If you have played a games that have similar mechanics, then most of the time, they will be within the same genre.

Culture (Gaming culture/internet culture): The internet is often the source of genre information, through reviews or just general discussion. If in a review it is mentioned that a game is a genre, unless your personal experience tells you otherwise, you are likely to agree with whatever you are told.

Group 3 (Austin alone?) More than Mechanics

Compare these three titles: Call of Duty: Black Ops; Portal; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Screenshots of these games show that they all involve the use of a gun type weapon in (primarily) a first person perspective, however we don't consider all three of these to be FPSes. Skyrim is considered an RPG, Portal is more of a puzzle game, with Black Ops being the only true FPS. Conversely, Black Ops is also not considered an RPG, even though it has a leveling system, character creator, and weapon crafting mechanics. The reason behind this is in the game's intent. Black Ops' gameplay is based almost entirely around combat and defeating enemies, Skyrim's gameplay is based around immersing the character in an epic fantasy world, and Portal's gameplay is based around solving a series of logical puzzles. This is the reason why film and literary genres aren't referred to by camera shots or prose. While those things are important for the experience, it is how they come together as a whole that allows a work to be classified.

Put simply: A game's genre is greater than the sum of it's various mechanics.

Genre is Based on Mood

Most mechanic based genres such as FPSes and Beat'em'Up are best viewed as sub-genres of the overall mood crafted by the game. Using Halo as an example: it is a sci-fi/action game (this determines the setting and primary form of gameplay) with the sub-genre being FPS shoot (the predominant method used to achieve the gameplay form).

These Are Determined by Players/Designers

While the embedded narrative and game mechanics are created by designers other interpretations such as Death of the Author and emergent narrative are created by the player. These can result in a great deal of shift in a game's genre. While Mass Effect 3 may be viewed by some as an epic tragedy, others may view it as an idiotic, unintentional farce; depending on how one interprets the narrative. This applies to mechanics as well. Using the same game, it can be argued that ME 3 isn't an RPG but actually a Third-Person Shooter with light RPG elements. Alternatively, one can argue that it's a deeper RPG than its predecessor and more in line with what an Action/RPG should be.

Not Everything is Easily Classified

Some "genre-busting" games defy standard classification due to the complexity of their mechanics, the context of their embedded/emergent narratives, or some combination thereof. Dark Souls for example can be considered in equal parts an: RPG (focus on leveling, fantasy setting, weapon crafting), a survival horror game (scary monsters and environments, slow paced gameplay, atmosphere that creates a sense of loneliness and despair), or a dungeon crawler (emphasis on 'farming" enemies for experience and loot).

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