Some video game genres have been around for a long time and have evolved to stay relevant while others have fallen by the wayside. They've gone beyond being simple games and have, instead, become arts unto themselves that can be improved, reworked and even subverted by creative designers. Consider the following gaming genres and how they've managed to remain vital as technology and the tastes of gamers change.
Role Playing Games
Who knew that a fantasy adventure title about orcs, goblins, elves and other odd creatures would become the biggest thing in gaming? World of Warcraft changed the entire games industry by mixing role-playing game elements with the infinite appeal of the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) experience. RPGs have been around since before graphics even existed, living then as text adventure games on early home computers. They evolved to become major franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, and now draw in millions of players around the world for the next MMO.
When was the first video game invented? Here's a hint: it was decades before a certain intrepid plumber chomped down on his first mushroom. Way back in 1947, the first electronic game in history was developed for the cathode ray tube, an early precursor to standard computer technology.
That game was a primitive version of Missile Defense, the classic arcade game that tasks players with defending their cities from an onslaught of incoming explosives. This concept gave way to Space Invaders, then the entire top-down shooter genre and even leads up to the modern-day browser game favorite, the tower defense game. It seems that holding back inevitable destruction is the oldest and most enduring trope in gaming history.
First Person Shooter
Perhaps no other genre of video game has benefited more from the advent of 3D graphics. Where once the PC gaming world was dominated with 2D FPS titles like Wolfenstein and Doom, today both the PC and console platforms revel in vast, detailed battlefields in lush, realistic visuals. But the FPS is more than just its graphics. Thanks to better physics engines, the genre has evolved to include puzzle games like Portal and more story-driven independent titles with stripes of adventure games long past.
In the earliest days of graphical video games, the casino industry embraced electronic gaming to add excitement and variety to their analog floors. What started with video slot machines and poker games exploded with the advent of the Internet. Today, there's a huge draw to the online casino format, letting players experience all the thrills of gambling from home. There are digital card games, slot machines and sports books available from anywhere that has an Internet connection.
Maybe it all started with Pong, that basic table tennis simulator. From there, it was an unbroken string of football, baseball, hockey and other sports titles depicting professional athletics in increasingly realistic detail. Now, with motion controls, gamers can get into the swing of things (literally) with sports simulators.
So, no matter how the technology changes, some video game genres are here to stay. They tap into something fundamental about fun and keep us coming back for more.