We’re fast approaching an age in gaming where conventional forms of description will become extinct. Action? Stealth? Exploration? All of the above.
As recently as the last generation of systems, games were easy to divide according to genre and content. Flight sim. Racer. Fighter. A few exceptions come to mind- Beyond Good And Evil, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, etc.- but only a few. It wasn’t that the drive wasn’t there- I’m sure it was on the parts of the studios and programmers. I imagine the hard facts were that publishers were less willing to take risks, and the technology just wasn’t where it needed to be for proper blending and meshing to occur.
All of which makes the modern age of gaming more interesting. With Games truly coming into their own as an art form, and developers stretching their wings to produce such hard to define titles as Batman: Arkham Asylum, Borderlands, Heavy Rain, and I could go on… we also have to deal with the harsh reality that games are perhaps more than ever a profit-driven industry. Those old habits of playing it safe, and turning out sequel after sequel seem to be creeping in again after a bold few years of experimentation, and new IP’s.
I’m hoping the industry can find a balance, or at least a happy medium between the two schools of thought. I love the idea of a near future where creative-driven titles top the sales charts, and dividing titles by genres is a near-impossible task.