What Is Considered A Video Game? Definition And Examples

What Is Considered A Video Game?

Video games are a delight to many and a mystery to many others. If you’re unfamiliar with video games, you might be wondering what they are in the first place. 

So, what is considered a video game? A video game is any game that is played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or other display screen. The first video game was created in 1958, and the video game industry is now worth more than $300 billion. 

Following is a list of the various types of video game devices as well as the most popular games for each of them and a categorization of game types in general.

Video Game Types By Device

There are tons of different types of games, but first, let’s focus on the different types of devices used for games. Some games are available on several devices, while others are only available on one or two. If you’re considering purchasing a gift for someone, it will be very important to first determine what type of device that person games on.

Gaming devices can be categorized into three types: PCs (or personal computers), consoles, and mobile devices.

What Are PC Video Games? 

PC video games are played on a gaming computer. Usually, a specially built desktop that is cooled either with fancy fans or a water-cooling system. These setups can get quite elaborate and gamers take a great deal of pride in the fun and unique features of their setups.

Gaming PCs are usually quite a bit more expensive than gaming consoles due to their higher quality and more customizable features. The graphics are better and each part of the computer can be switched out and upgraded as technology improves. This level of customization isn’t possible in consoles.

Additionally, the gaming platform “Steam” contains more games and has better sales than the game stores for consoles, and if you live with other people, you won’t be accused of hogging the TV when you game on your own computer. PCs also allow you to customize how you use your keyboard keys and mouse buttons. 

What Are Console Video Games? video game console

There are two further classifications of console games: home consoles like the Xbox and the PlayStation, and handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch.

Home Consoles

Home consoles are larger and therefore not meant to be portable. They connect with your TV and usually live under the TV stand.

Microsoft’s Xbox

The Atari Jaguar was the main home console for video games in the late twentieth century, but the company discontinued sales in 1996. In 2001, Xbox came onto the scene as the first in-home console offered by an American company since the loss of the Atari Jaguar.

Between the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One, over 161 million units have been sold. The latest consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S, were released in 2020 and sales data for the two of them has not been released yet.

Users can purchase games specifically for the Xbox through the Xbox Game Store. DLCs (downloadable content) for previously purchased games can also be purchased and downloaded through the store, as well as game demos for games that haven’t been released yet or games that allow users to try out a demo before purchasing the full version.

There is an app for Xbox, called the Family Settings App, which allows parents to set time limits for their children’s playing time each day. It can also block age-restricted games and send a weekly gameplay report for monitoring of children’s activities.

The top ten most popular games of all time for Xbox according to Xbox users include The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, Red Dead Redemption 2, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Apex Legends, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto 5, Gears 5, Fortnite, and Control.

Sony’s PlayStation

Released in Japan in the late 1990s, its creation was the inspiration for Microsoft’s competing product, the Xbox. The original console was the very first to sell over 100 million units, all of which were sold in the first ten years.

Crossplay between PlayStation users and Xbox users was recently allowed for a few select games, including Apex Legends, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, Fortnite, Minecraft, Watch Dogs Legion, and World War Z. It seems that it was PlayStation’s ruling heads who resisted crossplay for so long, but they finally gave in and gave users what they wanted.

The top ten PlayStation games of all time, according to PlayStation users, includes The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto 3, Resident Evil, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Gran Turismo 2, Pro Evolution Soccer 3, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Tekken 3, and Wipeout 2097.

Nintendo GameCube

First released in Japan in the fall of 2001, Nintendo GameCube was the first console to use optical discs as its primary storage unit. The discs were basically mini-DVDs. While this technology was interesting, it was less useful than the design of its counterparts, Xbox and PlayStation, who used regular-sized DVDs. This allowed users to also watch DVD movies through their consoles, something that GameCube users were not able to do.

While an iconic console, it is perhaps the least popular of the three twenty years after they were all released.

According to GameCube users, the most popular games of all time include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Star Wars Rogue Leader, Soulcalibur II, Animal Crossing, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, and F-Zero GX.

Handheld Consoles what are hand held video games

Handheld consoles are smaller, lighter, and more durable as they are meant to be carried around and used in various settings.

Nintendo Switch

While Nintendo’s GameCube may be the least popular nowadays compared to PlayStation and Xbox home consoles, Nintendo’s handheld console has overshadowed both of its main competitors.
The Nintendo Switch continues to increase in popularity, despite the decrease in popularity of the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation Vita. Xbox has hinted that they are working on a new handheld device in 2021, but it has not yet been released.

The most popular Nintendo Switch games of all time, according to users, include Mario Kart 8 Delux, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokemon Sword and Sheild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Party, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu, and Splatoon 2. 

Mobile Video Games

App stores such as Google Play and the Apple iStore sell a variety of game apps. Many of the games available on handheld gaming devices are also available for mobile phone devices. There are also many games exclusively available for mobile phone devices.

Video Game Types By Genre

What Are Action Video Games? 

These types of games are, to no one’s surprise, focused on the action. The point of the game is to overcome difficulties and dangers to complete some kind of mission, and a lot of action is involved.

This genre includes games like platformer games, where the main character runs, jumps over, climbs up, and gets knocked off of platforms; shooter games in which the character shoots other characters and sustains damage if shot by other players; fighting games in which the main character engages in hand-to-hand or another type of non-firearm-related fighting.

It also includes stealth games in which the main character needs to complete tasks undercover without attracting attention or being caught; and rhythm games in which the player usually acts in real life to press a particular button at a particular time in tune with music, such as in Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero.

What Are Simulation Video Games? 

This genre of video gaming is all about replicating reality or a fictional version of reality. The Sims is probably the most popular lifestyle simulation game. More particularly, it is a social simulation game. A similar subgenre is pet-raising simulations. Nintendogs and Tamagotchi are examples of this subgenre.

Vehicle simulations, including flight simulations, race car simulations, and even tractor-driving simulations, can be regular life simulations or combat-driven simulations.

What Are Roleplaying Video Games?

Also referred to as RPGs, roleplaying games usually involve a fantasy setting. These games originated from pen-and-paper roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons. This category can be further broken down into Western-influence RPGs and Japanese-influence RPGs.

Popular RPGs include Mass Effect, Fallout, and Final Fantasy.

What Are Strategy Video Games?

Based on traditional strategy board games, these games allow users to implement strategies and tactics to overcome challenges. Some strategy games, such as Civilization, are based on real human history or made-up extraterrestrial history. The historical facts play an important part in the tactical gameplay. Similarly, games like Real War have a heavy focus on wartime strategizing.

What Are Sports Video Games? 

These games simulate sports like basketball, football, baseball, soccer, golf, skiing, pool, darts, and many others. Opposing players may either be computer-controlled or controlled by other players elsewhere in the world.

Team sports games include Arch Rivals, NBA Jam, Madden NFL, and FIFA.

eSport games like Overwatch and Team Fortress also fall under this genre.

What Are Puzzle Video Games?

Games with a focus on logic or trivia are what make up this genre. Brain Age and Tetris are some of the most popular.


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Hello there! My name is Collin. I’ve spent hours studying game design via podcasts, articles, and videos. This is where I share the helpful information I’ve learned about creating and marketing great games.

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