Even before video games made onto PCs in the 90′s, different genres of video games were beginning to be established. The simple, 2D ‘ball and paddle’ game of Pong, one of the earliest video games ever made, was an extremely simplistic sports game and certainly a different genre to the similarly early Space Invaders game, despite the graphics, gameplay and player interaction being rather primitive. Nowadays, such old arcade-style games have themselves become genre. Following games like Super Mario becoming popular on specialised gaming consoles and the introduction of PC games, with all the variability of player control that both platforms brought, game genres started to diversify, with more and more sub-genres being created too, and many more came into being.
As the massive explosion of the video game industry took place in the 1990′s and 2000′s, many iconic games were produced that subsequently went on to either define a given genre or create a new genre of their own; such genres were often the filled with similar games made by developers trying to cash in on the successful ideas and gameplay models employed by the initial game. Today, as game developing has become big business and certain genres, such as FPS (first-person shooter) and RPG (role-playing games), reliably turnover more money than others, the availability of games across the now wide range of genres is decreasing; this was not the case in the 90′s as there far more smaller, independent publishers around producing a far greater variety of games as they were all fairly likely to make a good profit.
With a massive surge in the popularity of online gaming, largely enabled by programming languages like Flash, just about every video game genre is now available under the category of online games. Online mini-games cover every genre from arcade and sports to strategy and simulation, whilst the MMO (massively multiplayer online) genre and it’s variant the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), recent additions to the world of video gaming, now make up the most popular and lucrative sector of the gaming industry. If you are new to gaming online, starting in either of these genres is one of the easiest ways to try out the fun of gaming online. But the real joy of gaming online is that many sites offer a raft of games, from a whole load of different genres, to play for free; if you don’t like a particular type of game, just play another one!
Many sites list their available games by genre, so in case you are wondering what exactly is the difference between action and adventure, read on! Sports games cover a range, some built for realism and offering sports fans a pretty realistic sporting challenge, whilst others base a more free and fun interpretation around a basic sporting idea. Action games tend to be fast-paced with tasks and time-constraints, whereas adventure games offer more freedom of exploration to players. Although varying in realism, shooters, usually first-person, are high-octane and more akin to action games than strategy games, which require more time and thought. Overall, the variety of genres, but the particularly popular MMO and MMORPG, will provide online gamers with many hours of enjoyment.