Hack 'N' Slash as a new Gaming Genre

In a tute at uni recently we discussed game genres and the motivations of play that usually drive them, and player types that are usually found playing them. E.g. adventure games like the old Kings Quest series would be made for ‘Explorers’, or Counter Strike was made for ‘Killers’.

A question was asked sometime during the tute about the term “Hack ‘n’ Slash”, and whether it could be called a genre. I can see why some people might object, but I actually think it should be a game genre or at least a sub-genre.

My reason is that sometimes people just want to kill hundreds and hundreds of people/monsters/critters at a time to make themselves feel more control over their world. I’m sure there’s a psychological reason for it, not sure what it’s called though. Games like Diablo2 and Dynasty Warriors are great to just vege out for an hour and see how much damage you can do to the hundreds of enemies the game makes for you, usually whilst wielding a big stick or sword. Sometimes people will just buy a game like this for that reason – and if you can walk into EB and say “I want a hack-n-slash” and have everyone in the store immediately know what you mean (except for the non-gamers they sometimes employ around Christmas time), then I think it’s a genre.

Submitted By: kythin

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