An Introduction To Video Game Genres For A Complete Novice

An Introduction To Video Game Genres For A Complete Novice

The video game industry is vast, including a number of genres and sub-genres, designed to draw the interest of the diverse clientele known as gamers. But, what separates an action game from an adventure game? Are first person shooters their own genre, or part of the larger action category? What if it is a first person shooter with a horror theme?

The lines between one genre and the next can be blurry, with a wide variety of titles belonging to two, or even three, possible categories. With that in mind, here is an introduction to some of the most popular video game genres, and what makes them unique.


A staple for arcades, the fighting genre pits on players against another, or against an AI-controlled opponent, in rounds of single combat. The goal is simply to exchange blows while attempting to get your opponent’s health bar to zero before yours. Most featured up to three rounds per battle, with the winner of two out of three being declared the winner. If a player is the winner, they then advance to the next battle in line.



Racing games come in a variety of formats, but all feature racing at their core. Whether you have access to a garage full of cars that actually exist, like with Gran Turismo, or prefer the more cartoonish approach of Mario Kart, the goal is to get around the track faster than your opponents. Winning races sometimes open’s opportunities to improve the virtual cars and unlock additional tracks, while others are purely for bragging rights.


Similar to racing in regards of the simplicity of the premise, sports games have players simulate the experience of playing a particular sport. Most professional sports, such as football and basketball, are represented, as well as combat sports, like UFC and extreme sports, like trick skateboarding. Players either work to win games or score points, depending on the exact sport involved.

First Person Shooters

The first person shooter got its name based on the perspective the player is the character. Instead of seeing the entire character within the environment, players are positioned to see how the character would see, including seeing the arms and weapons protruding into the view.


Game play focuses on players working (shooting) their way through a variety of scenarios, following a particular storyline. Some of the quintessential examples include the Call of Duty, Battlefield, and DOOM franchises.

Real Time Strategy

Real-time strategy allows players to control large armies, developing their weapons and bases, and working towards a specific mission. It is the video game equivalent to chess, with each side making a series of moves to try and outdo the other.

One of the games that originally popularised the genre on a large scale was the Command and Conquer series, while Dawn of War and Age of Empires are more recognised examples today.



The RPG, or Role Playing Game is one of the more story rich options available in gaming today, but often still features a strong combat aspect. Players lead characters through stories, making various choices along the way that impact the story’s conclusion. Free online versions are available, like Stick RPG 2, as well as titles in a traditional console and computer formats, such as the Mass Effect series.

RPGs played online in open worlds full of other players are classified as MMORPGs or Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. One of the most recognised names in MMORPGs is World of Warcraft (WoW), though the genre was popular before WoW entered the market.


The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or MOBA genre has players controlling a single character in an online landscape, working with (or fighting against) other players who are doing the same. Unlike an MMORPG, a MOBA focuses primarily on player versus player, or team versus team, combat, at times including AI-controlled characters that must also be dealt with.



A primary feature of an adventure game is the presence of a well-developed story. Many of these games function more like an interactive movie than a traditional RPG. Some of the best examples of adventure games include little, if any, combat.

Instead, players make a series of decisions that directs the course of the story, and the life of the character they are playing. Some of the best recent examples include the Walking Dead series and Life is Strange.


I leave horror for last as it is not a complete genre on its own. Most horror games function using the premise of another genre, such as first person shooter or RPG, while having the story and experience focus on horror themes. A game classifying as horror is more about how the experience makes the player feel than how it is played.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals



    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.



      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.


      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.



          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.


            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.


            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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