Top ten blah blah blah

— 12:00 AM on March 25, 2003

So I was poking around on Slashdot earlier when I ran across this article at about the top ten dying game genres.

I don't even know where to begin. The article gets most of its points wrong, and the ones it gets right have been right for the last five years or more. Let's start with the thesis: "[H]ere’s a list of ten types of video game sub-genres which are either in decline, not as popular as they used to be, or pretty much dead." Wow, so basically the list has the potential to include any genre that's not currently at the height of its popularity. Way to go out on a limb.

After coming to the brilliant conclusion that 2D shooters based in space aren't as popular as they used to be, the author tackles the puzzle genre. Here, things get confusing:

These days, most gamers are not interested in slapping down $49.95 for a traditional puzzle game when there are plenty of similar things available online for free. And since puzzle games don’t require fancy graphics, so there’s really no need to buy a needlessly complicated Xbox port of Tetris when you can play pretty much exactly the same thing on your Game Boy.
Hmm. So apparently, the popularity of a genre doesn't count if it's played on a PC or a Game Boy. Huh? If anything, I'd say that the existence of web sites with java-based puzzle games has led to a resurgence in this particular genre, especially if you count people at work on their lunch break. See Bejeweled.

In another highlight, the author states that text adventures are a dying genre. If text adventures are still in the process of dying, then so is Abraham Lincoln. They're dead, they're buried, they've rotted down to skeletons of blocky monochrome letters.

Skipping a couple up on the list, the article declares the imminent death of educational games, asking "But where are the new, really good educational games?" Well, Damage informs me that a big fat pile of them are on Jr. Damage's computer at the moment, but apparently if the game in question isn't Oregon Trail, it doesn't count. In related news, the word processor genre has been dying since the release of Bank Street Writer.

The article puts graphic adventure games at the top of the list: see Dead Horse, Beating. Speaking of, does anybody remember the Old Man Murray article about the death of adventure games? Brilliant. I miss Old Man Murray.

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