Outline of video games

Outline of video games

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to video games:

Video game – electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The word video in video game traditionally referred to a raster display device,[1] but following popularization of the term "video game", it now implies any type of display device.


Nature of video games

Main article: Video games

Video game genres

Video game genres – video game categorization based on their gameplay interaction and set of gameplay challenges rather than visual or narrative differences.

Action game

Action game – a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time.

  • Beat 'em up – a video game genre featuring melee combat between the protagonist and a large number of underpowered antagonists.
  • Fighting game – a genre where the player controls an on-screen character and engages in close combat with an opponent.
  • Platform game – requires the player to control a character to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles (jumping puzzles).
  • Shooter game – wide subgenre that focuses on using some sort of weapon often testing the player's speed and reaction time.
    • First-person shooter – a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist.
    • Light gun shooter – a genre in which the primary design element is aiming and shooting with a gun-shaped controller.
    • Shoot 'em up – a genre where the player controls a lone character, often in a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging their attacks.
    • Tactical shooter – includes both first-person shooters and third-person shooters and simulates realistic combat, thus making tactics and caution more important than quick reflexes in other action games.
    • Third-person shooter – a genre of 3D action games in which the player character is visible on-screen, and the gameplay consists primarily of shooting.

Action-adventure game

Action-adventure game

Adventure game

Role-playing video game

Role-playing video game (RPG) – a video game genre with origins in pen-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, using much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. The player in RPGs controls one character, or several adventuring party members, fulfilling one or many quests.

  • Action role-playing game – a loosely-defined sub-genre of role-playing video games that incorporate elements of action or action-adventure games, emphasizing real-time action where the player has direct control over characters, instead of turn-based or menu-based combat.
    • Hack and slash – a type of gameplay that emphasizes combat.
    • Role-playing shooter – a sub-genre, featuring elements of both shooter games and action RPGs.
  • Dungeon crawl – a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling various monsters, and looting any treasure they may find.
    • Roguelike – a sub-genre of role-playing video games, characterized by randomization for replayability, permanent death, and turn-based movement.
  • MUD – a multiplayer real-time virtual world, with the term usually referring to text-based instances of these.
  • Tactical role-playing game – a multiplayer real-time virtual world, with the term usually referring to text-based instances of these.

Simulation video game

Simulation video game –

Strategy video game

Strategy video game – a genre that emphasizes skillful thinking and planning to achieve victory. They emphasize strategic, tactical, and sometimes logistical challenges. Many games also offer economic challenges and exploration.

  • 4X game – a genre in which players control an empire and "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate." (4X)
  • Artillery game – the generic name for either early two- or three-player (usually turn-based) computer games involving tanks fighting each other in combat or similar derivative games.
  • Real-time strategy (RTS) – a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns.
    • Tower defense – a genre where the goal of the game is to try to stop enemies from crossing a map by building towers which shoot at them as they pass.
    • Dota – a hybrid of real-time strategy and role-playing video games where the objective is for the player's team to destroy the opposing side's main structure with the help of periodically spawned computer-controlled units that march towards the enemy's main structure.
  • Real-time tactics – a subgenre of tactical wargames played in real-time simulating the considerations and circumstances of operational warfare and military tactics, differentiated from real-time strategy gameplay by the lack of resource micromanagement and base or unit building, as well as the greater importance of individual units and a focus on complex battlefield tactics.
  • Tactical role-playing game – a type of video game which incorporates elements of traditional role-playing video games and strategy games.
  • Turn-based strategy – a strategy game (usually some type of wargame, especially a strategic-level wargame) where players take turns when playing.
  • Turn-based tactics – a genre of strategy video games that through stop-action simulates the considerations and circumstances of operational warfare and military tactics in generally small-scale confrontations as opposed to more strategic considerations of turn-based strategy (TBS) games.
  • Wargame – a subgenre that emphasize strategic or tactical warfare on a map, as well as historical (or near-historical) accuracy.

Vehicle simulation game

Vehicle simulation game

Other genres

  • Adult game – a game which has significant sexual content (like an adult movie), and are therefore intended for an adult audience.
    • Eroge – a Japanese video game that features erotic content, usually in the form of anime-style artwork.
  • Advergame – the practice of using video games to advertise a product, organization or viewpoint.
  • Art game – a video game that is designed in such a way as to emphasize art or whose structure is intended to produce some kind of reaction in its audience.
  • Christian video game – A video game telling stories from the bible, typically unlicensed, with an exception being Noah's Ark for the NES.
  • Educational game – video games that have been specifically designed to teach people about a certain subject, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play.
  • Exergaming – video games that are also a form of exercise and rely on technology that tracks body movement or reaction.
  • Maze video games – video game genre description first used by journalists during the 1980s to describe any game in which the entire playing field was a maze.
  • Music video game – a video game where the gameplay is meaningfully and often almost entirely oriented around the player's interactions with a musical score or individual songs.
    • Rhythm game – games that challenge the player's sense of rhythm and focus on dance or the simulated performance of musical instruments, and require players to press buttons in a sequence dictated on the screen.
  • Party video games – games commonly designed as a collection of simple minigames, designed to be intuitive and easy to control and to be played in multiplayer.
  • Puzzle video game – video games that emphasize puzzle solving, including logic, strategy, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion.
  • Serious game – a video game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment, generally referring to products used by industries like defense, education, scientific exploration, health care, emergency management, city planning, engineering, religion, and politics.
  • Traditional game – a computer program adaptation of a non-computer game (such as a board game or card game).

Other types of video games

  • Casual game – a game of any genre that is targeted for a mass audience of casual gamers. Casual games typically have simple rules and require no long-term time commitment or special skills to play.
  • Indie game – games created by individuals or small teams without video game publisher financial support as well as often focus on innovation and rely on digital distribution.
  • Minigame – a short or more simplistic video game often contained within another video game.
  • Non-game – software that lies on the border between video games, toys and applications, with the main difference between non-games and traditional video games being the apparent lack of goals, objectives and challenges.
  • Programming game – a game where the player has no direct influence on the course of the game, instead a computer program or script is written that controls the actions of the characters.

Video game hardware platforms

Video game platforms –



Ludonarrative Dissonance

Specific video games

Lists of video games

Video game industry

Video game industry

Video game development

Video game development – the software development process by which a video game is developed and video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games.

Video game developer – a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games.

Independent video game development – the process of creating indie video games without the financial support of a video game publisher, usually designed by an individual or a small team.

  • Game art design – a process of creating 2D and 3D game art for a video game, such as concept art, item sprites, character models, etc.
    • Game artists – an artist who creates art for one or more types of games and are responsible for all of the aspects of game development that call for visual art.
    • Video game graphics – variety of individual computer graphic techniques that have evolved over time, primarily due to hardware advances and restrictions.
    • Video game art – the use of patched or modified video games or the repurposing of existing games or game structures.
    • Concept art – a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood before it is put into the final product.
    • Procedural texture – a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in films, video games, animation, or comic books before it is put into the final product.
    • 2D computer graphics – computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models (such as 2D geometric models, text, and digital images) and by techniques specific to them.
    • 3D computer graphics – graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data (often Cartesian) that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images.
  • Game design – the process of designing the content and rules of a game in the pre-production stage and design of gameplay, environment, storyline, and characters during production stage.
  • Game modification – are made by the general public or a developer, and can be entirely new games in themselves, but mods are not standalone software and require the user to have the original release in order to run.
  • Game music – musical pieces or soundtracks and background musics found in video games ranging from a primitive synthesizer tune to an orchestral pieces and complex soundtracks.
  • Game producer – the person in charge of overseeing development of a video game.
  • Game programming – the programming of computer, console or arcade games.
    • Game programmer – a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who primarily develops codebase for video games or related software, such as game development tools.
    • Game engine – a system designed for the creation and development of video games.
    • Game Artificial intelligence – techniques used in computer and video games to produce the illusion of intelligence in the behavior of non-player characters (NPCs).
  • Game publisher – a company that publishes video games that they have either developed internally or have had developed by a video game developer.
  • Game studies – the discipline of studying games, their design, players, and their role in society and culture more broadly.
  • Game testing – a software testing process for quality control of video games, primary function being the discovery and documentation of software defects (aka bugs).
  • Game journalism – a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games.
  • Level design – a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games.
    • Level editor (tool) – a software tool used to design levels, maps, campaigns, etc and virtual worlds for a video game.

History of video games

By period

By decade

By year

Prior to 1972
1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979
1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989
1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999
2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009
2010 · 2011 · 2012

By platform

By genre


Politics of video games


People influential in video games

See also



External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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