Video game genres are used to categorize video games based on their gameplay interaction rather than visual or narrative differences. A video game genre is defined by a set of gameplay challenges. They are classified independent of their setting or game-world content, unlike other works of fiction such as films or books. For example, an action game is still an action game, regardless of whether it takes place in a fantasy world or outer space. Within game studies there is a lack of consensus in reaching accepted formal definitions for game genres, some being more observed than others. Like any typical taxonomy, a video game genre requires certain constants. Most video games feature obstacles to overcome, so video game genres can be defined where obstacles are completed in substantially similar ways.
Following is a listing of commonly used video game genres with brief descriptions and examples of each. This list is by no means complete or comprehensive. Chris Crawford notes that "the state of computer game design is changing quickly. We would therefore expect the taxonomy presented here to become obsolete or inadequate in a short time." As with nearly all varieties of genre classification, the matter of any individual video game's specific genre is open to personal interpretation. Moreover, it is important to be able to "think of each individual game as belonging to several genres at once."
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