The Burning Question: Are you a one genre gamer?

Sitting in a conversation with some friends of mine while waiting for the meat to reach medium-rare over the braai, we eventually got to the topic of video games. Now, they don’t usually play a lot of games or call themselves enthusiasts, but they own consoles and some have pretty decent rigs with which they “try out” the next graphics hungry game. As we were going through the list of games we recently and frequently play, it became very apparent that there are players that are more comfortable playing a specific genre and have stuck to all games in that specific genre for the longest time. To some, it might seem that I am a one genre type guy, but this is far from the truth as I have played almost all genres except for a simulator like Sims.

One of the guests at the braai, let’s name him Peter, mentioned that he’s been playing FIFA since the PlayStation One era. I can remember that the best FIFA ever made (FIFA 1998 with Blur’s Song Two as the intro) came out on the PlayStation One and I loved it, but it didn’t get as much time as Crash Bandicoot and Gran Turismo did on the console. This left Peter puzzled as I’m a football fan and should at least put in two to three hours a day based on his perception of me. I then questioned his reasoning for it and stated that “you’re always talking about PES and FIFA and how one outweighs the other in certain regards” as he flipped some sirloins on the fire. Admittedly I do like my football games, but I don’t spend that much time playing them. I didn’t do so then, and only fire up the game about twice a week now. Throughout the years I’ve played ore single player games until the arrival of Xbox Live. Before that, we had the occasional PC Lan and I was introduced to Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty and Battlefield. It took me around 30 minutes to get used to the controls and found myself surprisingly dominant at first-person shooters on the day, much to everyone else’s surprise, because I’m a “Gran Turismo nut.”

After explaining this to the group of people huddled around the fire we then decided to go through the list of games that we’ve played over the last five to ten years. Much to their surprise I played games they never thought I’d touch like World of Warcraft, Age of Empires, Command and Conquer, Darkwing Duck, Comix Zone, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Counter-Strike, Halo, Forza, Warioware, Bubble Bobble, Mega Man, Super Mario Bros., Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid, Soul Calibur, etc., and they all had this look of confusion on their faces. The amount of variation in my interests left them stumped as one replied “I only do strategy games” while others were listing theirs. Most would either reply with shooters or RPGs, while others considered themselves casual gamers that only play the likes of FIFA. Evidently, and not so surprising to me, they all had specific genres that they gravitated towards and I completely understand that. What I was most puzzled about though was their assumption that I only play either one or two genres. I do consider myself a lover of all-sorts and try anything that has a good premise or has a different take on a genre. As the conversation went on we spoke about the platforms we currently enjoy to which most replied with Playstation and PC. I mentioned the Nintendo Switch and they all had question marks popping up above their heads asking “isn’t that for kids?”, and I just chuckled at the comment.

Obviously, their impression on the console is that it’s a light-hearted and colourful little handheld that kids play Mario on (where do I find these people?). As I went through the list of games currently on the Switch and coming in the near future, they were absolutely astounded. At this point, Peter said, “wow, now if only FIFA was on there, I’d get one and play whenever”. I looked at him with a smile slowly creeping across my face and watched his turn from a look of wonder to a look of utter astonishment. Luckily, I had the Switch on hand and ran through some of the games on it. Mario Kart 8 got everyone interested, Super Mario Odyssey got them ooh-ing and aah-ng. Some found it to be too childish until they went head-to-head that is, then all perceptions changed (and quite a few moments of rage ensued). Of late I have been playing a lot of Warframe, PUBG and PES, but I still like my single-player games, puzzle games, platformers, racers and RPGs. I think the reason why I play the aforementioned three titles more is due to the multi-player and co-op aspects. I can’t wait to get my hands on God of War either and still need to get Horizon Zero Dawn, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m not a one genre type gamer.

So, my question to you is, are you a one genre gamer? Do you prefer a specific genre over others? What’s your favourite genre? From the comments sections of various posts, we can obviously see who’s more into what, but it would be great if you guys gave us some insight into your preferred type of games or your vast library of many different titles you’ve decided to delve into.

I Game, I Design, I wish I could Game Design.

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