Document Type





video games, classification, genre theory, genre history, information systems




Game Design | Library and Information Science


This paper explores the current affordances and limitations of video game genre from a library and information science perspective with an emphasis on classification theory. We identify and discuss various purposes of genre relating to video games, including identity, collocation and retrieval, commercial marketing, and educational instruction. Through the use of examples, we discuss the ways in which these purposes are supported by genre classification and conceptualization, and the implications for video games. Suggestions for improved conceptualizations such as family resemblances, prototype theory, faceted classification, and appeal factors for video game genres are considered, with discussions of strengths and weaknesses. This analysis helps inform potential future practical applications for describing video games at cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, museums, and archives, as well as furthering the understanding of video game genre and genre classification for game studies at large.

Additional Information

"Why Video Game Genres Fail: A Classificatory Analysis" first appeared in Games & Culture, through SAGE Publishing's OnlineFirst initiative, July 6, 2015.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.