What are games?

Games are interactive games that are played on electronic devices. A big difference between games and other media forms (books, films, series) is the interactive aspect: the gamer does not look passively at a story but takes an active role in the course of the game.

The gamer reacts to the events and receives direct feedback on his / her choices and actions, for example in the form of points, rewards and new opportunities. You can game on various electronic devices (devices), such as the computer, console (Wii, Playstation, Xbox), tablet or smartphone.

mobile gaming

There is a wide range of games. Games can be played cooperatively or competitively, individually (single player) or together with others (multiplayer) .3 There may be fellow players (real or virtual) who help or prevent the gamer from progressing in the game. A distinction can be made between online and offline games. Based on substantive differences, there are also various types of games or “game genres”.

Game genres

Games can be divided into different types or “genres” based on the content. Most games have properties of multiple genres, such as solving a puzzle (puzzle game) before the game character can explore a new environment (adventure). Or defeat enemies (action) to progress in the story (adventure). The most common categories are explained below.

Simulation games

In these games, real-life activities are reenacted in a made-up but realistic world. For example, driving a vehicle or building a city. A flight simulator and the game The Sims are examples of this. In a sports simulation game, such as FIFA or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, the gamer plays a particular sport, such as football.

Strategy games

In these games, the gamer progresses by making strategic, tactical decisions and planning well. The gamer’s problem-solving and cognitive skills are called upon.4 5 Duties can include gathering supplies, building kingdoms, and outsmarting enemies. Examples of this genre are Clash of Clans, Age of Empires and Star Craft.

candy crush

Puzzle games

In puzzle games, the gamer solves puzzles or riddles to progress, sometimes under time pressure. The game is getting more and more difficult. This type of game calls on problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, perseverance and executive functions (such as planning, inhibition and working memory). Examples include Tetris, Candy Crush and hidden object puzzles.

Adventure games

In this type of game, the player follows the story of the game character who must overcome obstacles or other characters and explore a virtual, fictional (fantasy) world. The main thing in adventure games is not having a quick reaction time, but the story in the game and being able to solve problems for which time can often be taken. Often the gamer can collect objects that make the game character stronger or help to progress in the game. Prince of Persia, The Secret Of Monkey Island and The Legend of Zelda are examples.


Action games

In action games the gamer must be able to think ahead, be alert and react quickly, for example by jumping or shooting in order to overcome enemies and obstacles. While playing these games, selective and sustained attention, executive functions and spatial awareness are trained.7 8 Action games have several subcategories:

In platform games, the gamer jumps over obstacles and from platform to platform, taking out enemies. An example is Super Mario Bros.

Action games also include different types of shooting games (shooter games), in which the gamer protects himself against threats and enemies. In first person shooter games, the gamer views the game environment from the shooter’s eyes. Call of Duty is an example. In third person shooter games, the gamer views the environment from a third person perspective. The gamer sees the character perform the actions while he / she controls the character. Fortnite is an example of this.



This type of game is also referred to as an “open world” or “free-roaming” game. The gamer can roam freely in a large, realistic but virtual world. There is a lot of freedom to choose how the game is played. Examples are Grand Theft Auto (GTA), Watch Dogs, and Minecraft.

Role-play games

In a role-playing or role-play game (RPG), the gamer takes on the role of a character, such as a personalized character (avatar), such as an elf, mythical figure or wizard. The development of the game character is central. The storyline often depends on the decisions the gamer makes. With some online RPGs, the storyline continues when you are not gaming. Examples of RPGs are World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy.


Single player or multiplayer

Games can also be classified based on whether you play it alone (single player) or together with others (multiplayer). Individual gaming can be done offline as well as online. Gaming together with (or against) others can be played offline via consoles (eg Playstation) with other gamers who are physically present in the same room. Online gaming is possible with gamers from all over the world.

With Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMO) gamers play online with a large number of players worldwide at the same time in a virtual (fantasy) world. The gamer can often choose and personalize a character. Gamers can also chat among themselves. The game often continues even when you are not playing. An example is World of Warcraft.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), also called Action Real-time Strategy (ARTS) games, is a sub-type of MMO. The gamer controls a character in one of two teams. The teams try to beat each other and defend their own base. A well-known example is League of Legends.

Finally, there are also Battle Royale games. This type of game is characterized by a fixed number of gamers that start in a virtual world, fighting until one person or team remains.9 Gamers search for weapons, equipment or medicine as quickly as possible to survive. A popular game in this genre is Fortnite Battle Royale.