The online classification of videogames
This site is an online and collaborative classification
system suited to videogames, based on multiple criteria
The games are classified according to their:
- Overall category: A global category computed after the criteria below.
- Gameplay: Does this title features stated goals to reach like any "game"? Or is the player totally free to make his own choices in a "play-based" way?
Besides these two overall gameplay types, the core rules of each title are analysed and represented as GamePlay bricks.
- Purpose: Besides its play value, does this title features other purposes? For example, is it designed to train you? To broadcast a message? To tell you a story?
- Market: What are the application domains that actually use this game? Entertainment? Education? Healthcare?...
- Audience: Which audience does this games target? This criteria gives you information about the age range and kind of audience targeted by each title.
- Keywords: A series of keywords defining the genre and the theme of each game, based on the analyses performed by classification contributors.
After an analysis of the other criteria, it's possible to classify each title in a global category
, with an eventual sub-category
Categories are deduced from the kind of gameplay
and the market
of each title:
- Video Game: title featuring a "game-based" gameplay and used in the entertainment market only.
- Video Toy: title featuring a "play-based" gameplay and used in the entertainment market only.
- Serious Game: title featuring a "game-based" gameplay and used in one or several additional markets besides entertainment.
- Serious Play: title featuring a "play-based" gameplay and used in one or several additional markets besides entertainment.
- Officially, the "Serious Game" expression, which refers to "any game whose purpose isn't restricted to sole entertainment", is only used for titles released after 2002. To qualify such "games with serious purposes" released before 2002, we will use the "Retro" adjective. Hence, we will also classify games as "Retro Serious Game" and "Retro Serious Play".
Subcategories are computed from the purposes
featured in each title, besides play:
- Advergame: game broadcasting a marketing or communication message.
- Newsgame: game broadcasting an informative message.
- Edugame: game broadcasting an educative message.
- Exergame (exercice game): physical or cognitive training game.
- Edumarketgame: game broadcasting both a marketing or communication message AND an informative message, educative message or training.
- Any title that fits none of the above descriptions isn't related to any subcategory.
A videogame can feature one of the two gameplay types below:
- Either "Game-based", which means this title is designed with stated goals to reach. These goals are used as reference to evaluate the performance of the player, in order to judge if he has "won" or "lost", or to give him an objective mark called "score".
- Or "Play-based", which means this title is designed with no stated goals to reach. Hence, this title does not explicitly evaluate the performance of the player. However, the player is free to state his own goals if he decides to.
Besides these two general gameplay types, this site features a more detailed analysis of the rules defining the gameplay core
of each title.
Indeed, for a videogame rules are hardly explicitly stated, but need to be "discovered" while playing. In order to classify games, this site highlights the "core rules"
featured in each title.
Each of these "core rules" is represented by one of the ten "gameplay bricks"
presented below. These bricks may refer to rules stating goals (orange bricks)
, or to rules defining means and constraints to reach these goals (blue bricks)
You'll find the detailed definition
of each brick used to classify gameplay below.
These definitions feature examples
, alongside with a diagram
representing the "core rule" defining each brick. A "rule" is here defined as composed by two parts: the condition (IF Pacman hits a ghost…)
and the action (…Then destroy Pacman)
This brick asks the player to avoid elements/traps/opponents.
For example, in the racing game Need for Speed
the player must avoid to hit walls and obstacles with his car.
This brick asks the player to match or to keep one or several elements in a particular state.
For example, in Pong
the player must put the ball out the area from his opponent's side.
Another example, in Chess
, the player must put the opponent's king in a particular state where it can no longer move.
This brick ask the player to destroy elements or opponents.
For example, in Space Invaders
the player have to destroy every alien in order to win.
This brick also deals with the idea of collecting or catching elements: for example, the dots eaten by Pacman
can be considered as "destroyed", so can the checkpoints in a racing game.
This brick allows the player to express his creativity through the act of assembling, building or creating elements.
For example, Crayon Physics
let the player draw any object to solve puzzles. This brick also deals with audio-related creation.
However, this brick does not refer to pure "model-matching" games such as puzzles, which are already represented by the brick MATCH
This brick let the player manage various resources in order to perform actions.
For example, you need to manage your ammo and weapons in Call of Duty
, to manage gold and wood in Warcraft 3
or a wide range of resources in Sim City
This brick let the player drive/pilot/displace an element or a character.
For example, Action Driving Game
let you move a car.
This brick let luck attributes values to the player.
For example, Jackpot
games let chance decide of players scores.
This brick let the player select an in-game element by any input device (mouse, keyboard, gamepad…).
Adventure games such as Bud Tucker in Double Trouble
let the player select many elements such as inventory objects or dialog answers by mouse. This brick also indicates that you can select different weapons in a FPS
, different buildings in a RTS
This brick let the player throw or shoot elements.
For example in any shoot'em up like Tyrian 2000
you can fire a large range of weapons. In Mario Kart
, you can shoot green and red shells at opponents.
However, games that let you "hit" elements without actually shooting objects refer to the SELECT
This brick let the player inputs an alphanumerical value.
For example, text-based adventure games like The Coveted Mirror
let you type the action to perform, while interactive storytelling games like Façade
let you freely dialog with virtual characters.
Besides its play value, each title may features additional purposes
, such as:
- Educative message broadcasting
- Informative message broadcasting
- Marketing & Communication message broadcasting
- Subjective message broadcasting
- Goods trading
- Licensed title
Each title may be used in one or several application domains
among: Entertainment, State & Governement, Military & Defence, Healthcare, Education, Corporate, Religious, Culture & Art, Ecology, Politics, Humanitarian & Caritative, Media, Advertising, Scientific Research
Each title usually targets a precise audience, identified by an age range (0-3, 3-7, 8-11, 12-16, 17-25, 25-35, 35-60, 60+)
and a type (General Public, Professionals, Students).