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Richard van Eck argues that there are multiple ways for categorizing video game genres in use, one of them being the "popular" genre system used by game publishers and the mainstream gaming press.

These are used by players as well to interpret the characteristics of individual games.

Other examples of such prefixes are real-time, turn based, top-down and side-scrolling.

Lastly, van Eck claims that academics in various disciplines have approached the topic in their own way and attempted to create a categorization of video games.

Descriptive names of genres take into account the goals of the game, the protagonist and even the perspective offered to the player.

For example, a first-person shooter is a game that is played from a first-person perspective and involves the practice of shooting.

Though one could state that Space Invaders is a science-fiction video game, such a classification "ignores the differences and similarities which are to be found in the player's experience of the game." In contrast to the visual aesthetics of games, which can vary greatly, it is argued that it is interactivity characteristics that are common to all games.

Focusing on these characteristics would allow a more "nuanced, meaningful and critical vocabulary for discussing video games." Regardless, there is little agreement on how game genres are created or classified, resulting in multiple classification schemes.

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