Have you ever noticed the difference between the kinds of genres in games, and the kinds of genres in… everything else?
In fiction (books, movies, graphic novels, etc.), genres are divided up based on the kinds of stories that they tell, and the kinds of worlds those stories take place in. Sci-fi, action, fantasy, steampunk, crime, horror, mystery, urban fantasy, speculative fiction, romance, thriller…
But in games, the genres are exclusively based around the mechanics of the game. Side-scroller, platformer, RPG, first-person-shooter, action-adventure, puzzle, MOBA, turn-based tactical, real-time strategy, visual novel, text-adventure, MMORPG…
Why do we do this? I suppose it’s because what usually matters in a game is how you interact with it. Still, it’s odd that you get fans that absolutely love real-time-strategies regardless of the story content, and on the flip-side you get people who adore high-fantasy regardless of the format (book, movie, etc.)
Just about any story genre can be cleanly mapped to any game genre. It’s quite possible to have a steampunk RPG, or a mystery side-scroller (ok, well perhaps not a romance first-person shooter :). But what about this:
Do you think there will ever be a genre of story that can only be represented with a certain game genre? Could there ever be a genre of game that only works with a certain story genre?