This is a list of genres of literature and entertainment (film, television, music, and video games), excluding genres in the visual arts.

Genre is the term for any category of creative work, which includes literature and other forms of art or entertainment (e.g. music)—whether written or spoken, audio or visual—based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time as new genres are invented and the use of old ones are discontinued. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions.

Literary genres edit

Action edit

An action story is similar to adventure, and the protagonist usually takes a risky turn, which leads to desperate situations (including explosions, fight scenes, daring escapes, etc.). Action and adventure are usually categorized together (sometimes even as "action-adventure") because they have much in common, and many stories fall under both genres simultaneously (for instance, the James Bond series can be classified as both).

  • Military fiction: A story about a war or battle that can either be historical or fictional. It usually follows the events a certain warrior goes through during the battle's events.
  • Spy fiction: A story about a secret agent (spy) or military personnel member who is sent on an espionage mission. Usually, they are equipped with special gadgets that prove useful during the mission, and they have special training in things such as unarmed combat or computer hacking. They may or may not work for a specific government.

Adventure edit

An adventure story is about a protagonist who journeys to epic or distant places to accomplish something. It can have many other genre elements included within it, because it is a very open genre. The protagonist has a mission and faces obstacles to get to their destination. Also, adventure stories usually include unknown settings and characters with prized properties or features.

  • Superhero fiction: a story that examines the adventures of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals, known as supervillains.
  • Swashbuckler
  • Ruritanian romance: a genre of swashbuckling adventure novels, set in a fictional country, usually in Central Europe or Eastern Europe
  • Picaresque: a genre featuring a roguish protagonist in a series of loosely connected adventures using his wits to get by in a corrupt society.

Comedy edit

Comedy is a story that tells about a series of funny, or comical events, intended to make the audience laugh. It is a very open genre, and thus crosses over with many other genres on a frequent basis.

  • Comedy of manners: A work that satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters. The plot of the comedy is often concerned with an illicit love affair or some other scandal, but is generally less important than its witty dialogue. This form of comedy has a long ancestry, dating back at least as far as Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.
  • Comic fantasy: A subgenre of fantasy that is primarily humorous in intent and tone. Usually set in imaginary worlds, comic fantasy often includes puns on and parodies of other works of fantasy. It is sometimes known as low fantasy in contrast to high fantasy, which is primarily serious in intent and tone. The term "low fantasy" is also used to represent other types of fantasy, so while comic fantasies may also correctly be classified as low fantasy, many examples of low fantasy are not comic in nature.
  • Dark comedy: A parody or satirical story that is based on normally tragic or taboo subjects, including death, murder, suicide, illicit drugs, and war. So-called "dead baby comedy" sometimes falls under this genre.
  • Science fiction comedy: A comedy that uses science fiction elements or settings, often as a lighthearted (or occasionally vicious) parody of the latter genre.
  • Satire: Often strictly defined as a literary genre or form, though in practice it is also found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement. Satire is usually meant to be funny, but its purpose is not primarily humor as an attack on something the author disapproves of, using wit. A common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre all frequently appear in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, is that "in satire, irony is militant;" this "militant irony" (i.e., sarcasm) often professes to approve (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
  • Absurdist and surrealist: closely related/overlapping genres that challenge casual and rudimentary reasoning and even the most basic purposefulness found within life. There is often, though not always, a connection to comedy.
    • The absurdist genre focuses on the experiences of characters in situations where they cannot find any inherent purpose in life, most often represented by ultimately meaningless actions and events that call into question the certainty of existential concepts such as truth or value. Elements common to this genre include satire, dark humor, incongruity, the abasement of reason, and controversy regarding the philosophical condition of being "nothing".[1]
    • The surreal genre is predicated on deliberate violations of causality, producing events and behaviours that are obviously illogical. Constructions of surreal humour tend to involve bizarre juxtapositions, non-sequiturs, irrational, or absurd situations and expressions of nonsense.
      • Whimsical: this genre has to do with a sense of eccentric or quirky humor. Related styles exaggerate real life in a whimsical, eccentric, quirky or fanciful way, sometimes.

Crime and mystery edit

A crime story is often about a crime that is being committed or was committed, but can also be an account of a criminal's life. A mystery story follows an investigator as they attempt to solve a puzzle (often a crime). The details and clues are presented as the story continues and the protagonist discovers them and by the end of the story the mystery is solved. For example, in the case of a crime mystery, the perpetrator and motive behind the crime are revealed and the perpetrator is brought to justice. Mystery novels are often written in series, which facilitates a more in-depth development of the primary investigator.[2][3]

  • Cozy mysteries
  • Detective story: A story about a detective or person, either professional or amateur, who has to solve a crime that was committed. They must figure out who committed the crime and why. Sometimes, the detective must figure out 'how' the criminal committed the crime if it seems impossible.
    • Whodunit: This is a complex, plot-driven variety of the detective story in which the audience is given the opportunity to engage in the same process of deduction as the protagonist throughout the investigation of a crime. The reader or viewer is provided with the clues from which the identity of the perpetrator may be deduced before the story provides the revelation itself at its climax. The investigation is usually conducted by an eccentric amateur or semi-professional detective.
  • Gentleman thief: Centers around particularly well-behaving and apparently well-bred thieves. They rarely bother with anonymity or force, preferring to rely on their charisma, physical attractiveness, and clever misdirection to steal the most unobtainable objects – sometimes for their own support, but mostly for the thrill of the act itself.
  • Gong'an fiction: A subgenre of historical crime fiction that involves government magistrates who solve criminal cases.
  • Legal thriller: This subgenre of thriller and crime fiction presents stories in which the major characters are lawyers, judges, and/or their employees. Examples include Primal Fear (1993) and Blood Defense (2016).
  • Locked-room mysteries
  • Murder mystery: A mystery story that focuses on homicides. Usually, the detective must figure out who killed one or several victims. They may or may not find themselves or loved ones in danger because of this investigation. The genre often includes elements of the suspense story genre, or of the action and adventure genres.
  • Noir fiction
    • Hardboiled: This is a literary genre sharing the setting with crime fiction (especially detective stories). Though deriving from the romantic tradition—which emphasized the emotions of apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—hardboiled fiction deviates from the tradition in the detective's cynical attitude towards those emotions. The attitude is conveyed through the detective's self-talk describing to the reader what he is doing and feeling.

Death game edit

The death game genre is a race where participants compete against each other for their lives in a series of escalating challenges until the fittest survivor(s) are left.[4] The genre has been widely popularized in films such as The Hunger Games (2008), Saw (2004) and Battle Royale (2000); TV series such as The Squid Game (2021), Alice in Borderland (2020) and Mirai Nikki (2012), reality TV shows such as Physical 100 (2023) and Survivor (1992), video games such as Danganronpa (2010) and literature such as Lord of the Flies (1954). The death game genre is a metaphor for the value ascribed to human life against the power dynamics in-play throughout human civilization.[5]

Fantasy edit

The Whirlwind Seizes the Wreath

A fantasy story is about magic or supernatural forces, as opposed to technology as seen in science fiction. Depending on the extent of these other elements, the story may or may not be considered to be a "hybrid genre" series; for instance, even though the Harry Potter series canon includes the requirement of a particular gene to be a wizard, it is referred to only as a fantasy series.

  • Bangsian: A fantasy subgenre that concerns the use of famous literary or historical individuals and their interactions in the afterlife. It is named for John Kendrick Bangs, who often wrote in this genre.
  • Contemporary fantasy (aka modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy): A subgenre of fantasy, set in the present day. These are used to describe stories set in the putative real world (often referred to as consensus reality) in contemporary times, in which magic and magical creatures exist, either living in the interstices of our world or leaking over from alternate worlds.
    • Urban fantasy: A subgenre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods, as well as fictional settings. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.
  • Dark fantasy: A subgenre of fantasy that can refer to literary, artistic, and filmic works that combine fantasy with elements of horror. The term can be used broadly to refer to fantastical works that have a dark, gloomy atmosphere or a sense of horror and dread and a dark, often brooding, tone.
  • Fables: A type of narration demonstrating a useful truth. Animals speak as humans, legendary, supernatural tale.
  • Fairy tales: A literary genre about various magical creatures, environments, et cetera. Many fairy tales are generally targeted for children.
  • Fantasy kitchen sink[citation needed]
  • Hard fantasy: Fantasy where the world and its magical elements are constructed in a logical and rational manner.
  • Epic/High fantasy: Mythical stories with highly developed characters and story lines. Examples include Malazan Book of the Fallen and The Lord of the Rings.
  • Heroic fantasy: Subgenre of fantasy that chronicles the tales of heroes in imaginary lands. Frequently, the protagonist is reluctant to be a champion, is of low or humble origin, and has royal ancestors or parents but does not know it. Though events are usually beyond their control, they are thrust into positions of great responsibility where their mettle is tested in a number of spiritual and physical challenges.
  • Historical fantasy: A category of fantasy and genre of historical fiction that incorporates fantastic elements (such as magic) into the historical narrative.
  • Legends: Stories, oftentimes of a national hero or other folk figure, which have a basis in fact, but also contain imaginative material.
  • LitRPG: A world that resembles a table-top or computer RPG, usually with ranks or levels in universe.
  • Magical girl: Popular in Japan, this subgenre is of girls who use magic in either their training, idol stardom, or even to fight evil.
  • Magic realism (aka magical realism): literary works where magical events form part of ordinary life. The reader is forced to accept that abnormal events such as levitation, telekinesis and talking with the dead take place in the real world. The writer does not invent a new world or describe in great detail new creatures, as is usual in Fantasy; on the contrary, the author abstains from explaining the fantastic events to avoid making them feel extraordinary. It is often regarded as a genre exclusive to Latin American literature, but some of its chief exponents include English authors. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez, who received the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, is considered the genre's seminal work of style.
  • Mythic fiction: Literature that is rooted in, inspired by, or that in some way draws from the tropes, themes and symbolism of myth, folklore, and fairy tales.[6] The term is widely credited to Charles de Lint and Terri Windling. Mythic fiction overlaps with urban fantasy and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but mythic fiction also includes contemporary works in non-urban settings. Mythic fiction refers to works of contemporary literature that often cross the divide between literary and fantasy fiction.
  • Portal Fantasy: In portal fantasy, a character travels to the fantastical world from another, usually less-fantastical one.
    • Isekai: A Japanese form of portal fantasy which can typically—though not always—also follow many of the conventions of the LitRPG (such as a character entering into the world of a game).
  • Science fantasy: A story with mystical elements that are scientifically explainable, or that combine science fiction elements with fantasy elements. (Science fiction was once referred to by this name, but that it no longer denotes that genre, and has somewhat fallen out of favor as a genre descriptor.)
    • Sword and planet: A subgenre of science fantasy that features rousing adventure stories set on other planets, and usually featuring Earthmen as protagonists. There is a fair amount of overlap between "sword and planet" and the "planetary romance" subgenre of sci-fi, though some works are considered to belong to one and not the other. In general, the latter is considered to be more of a "space opera" subgenre, influenced by the likes of A Princess of Mars yet more modern and technologically savvy, while "sword and planet" more directly imitates the conventions established by Burroughs in the Barsoom series.
    • Dying Earth: A subgenre of science fantasy that takes place either at the end of life on Earth or the end of time, when the laws of the universe themselves fail. More generally, the Dying Earth subgenre encompasses science fiction works set in the far distant future in a milieu of stasis or decline. Themes that tend to predominate this genre include those of world-weariness, innocence (wounded or otherwise), idealism, entropy, (permanent) exhaustion/depletion of many or all resources (such as soil nutrients), and the hope of renewal.
    • Gaslamp fantasy: Fantasy's counterpart to steampunk, in which the settings are often Victorian or Edwardian socially or technologically, but with non-scientific elements or characters included.
  • Shenmo: A genre of fantasy that revolves around the gods and monsters of Chinese mythology.
  • Sword and sorcery: A blend of heroic fantasy, adventure, and frequent elements of the horrific in which a mighty barbaric warrior hero is pitted against both human and supernatural adversaries. Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Cimmerian, Kull of Atlantis, the Pictish king Bran Mak Morn, et cetera, is generally acknowledged as the founder of the genre, chiefly through his writings for Weird Tales and other 1920s/30s pulp magazines.

Historical edit

A story about a real person or event. There are also some fiction works that purport to be the "memoirs" of fictional characters as well, done in a similar style, however, these are in a separate genre. Often, they are written in a text book format, which may or may not focus on solely that.

  • Biography: The details of the life story of a real person, told by someone else.
    • Autobiography: Essentially the same as a biography, with the exception that the story is written by the person who is the subject of the story.
    • Memoir: Similar to autobiography, with the exception that it is told more "from memory", i.e. it is how the person personally remembers and feels about their life or a stage in their life, more than the exact, recorded details of that period. Though memoirs are often more subjective than autobiography works, memoirs are generally still considered to be nonfiction works.

Historical fiction edit

The historical fiction genre includes stories that are about the past. It takes place in the real world, with real world people, but with several fictionalized or dramatized elements. To distinguish historical fiction from any fiction that is written about an era in the past, the criterion is that the book must have been written about a time that occurred in a historical context in relation to the author of the book.[7][8] The criterion that the story be set before the middle of the previous century is sometimes added.[8] Historical fiction stories include historical details and includes characters that fit into the time period of the setting, whether or not they are real historical people.[7] This may or may not crossover with other genres; for example, fantasy fiction or science fiction may play a part, as is the case for instance with the novel George Washington's Socks, which includes time travel elements.

  • Alternate history: A more extreme variant of historical fiction that posits a "what if" scenario in which some historical event occurs differently (or not at all), thus altering the course of history; for instance, "What if Nazi Germany had won World War II?" is an alternate history concept that has had treatment in fiction, such as in The Man in the High Castle (1962). Alternate History is sometimes (though not universally) referred to as a subgenre of science fiction or speculative fiction, and like historical fiction, may include more fantastical elements (e.g., the Temeraire series uses the fantasy element of dragons to create an Alternate History plot set during the Napoleonic Era).
    • Counterfactual history (aka virtual history): This is a recent form of historiography that attempts to answer counterfactual "what if" questions. It seeks to explore history and historical incidents by means of extrapolating a timeline in which certain key historical events did not happen or had a different outcome. This exercise ascertains the relative importance of the event, incident or person the counter-factual hypothesis negates.
  • Period piece: This type features historical places, people, or events that may or not be crucial to the story. Because history is merely used as a backdrop, it may be fictionalized to various degrees, but the story itself may be regarded as "outside" history. Genres within this category are often regarded as significant categories in themselves.

Horror edit

An Illustration of Poe's 'The Raven' by Gustave Doré

A horror story is told to deliberately scare or frighten the audience, through suspense, violence or shock. H. P. Lovecraft distinguishes two primary varieties in the "Introduction" to Supernatural Horror in Literature: 1) Physical Fear or the "mundanely gruesome;" and 2) the true Supernatural Horror story or the "Weird Tale". The supernatural variety is occasionally called "dark fantasy", since the laws of nature must be violated in some way, thus qualifying the story as "fantastic".

  • Ghost story: A story about the intrusion of the spirits of the dead into the realm of the living. There are subgenres: The Traditional Haunting, Poltergeists, The Haunted Place or Object (i.e. the hotel in Stephen King's The Shining), or the etching in "The Mezzotint" by M. R. James,[9] etc. Some would include stories of Revenants such as "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs.[10]
  • Gothic fiction: An atmospheric supernatural tale centered on a fear of the taboo and unknown. Lurid secrets and personal tragedies are common in stories in which the past returns to haunt the present, thematically reflected in the genre's crumbling, decayed architecture. The Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole exemplifies the heightened emotion and foreboding tone of the genre.
  • Monster: A story about a monster, creature, or mutant that terrorizes people. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is an example of a story with a monstrous "creature" (Frankenstein is often also considered the first science fiction story, in that it depicts biological science reanimating the dead). Other clear Monster stories are of the creatures of folklore and fable: the Ghoul, the Werewolf, and the Zombie.
  • Jiangshi fiction: Stories about jiangshi, the hopping corpses under the control of Taoist priests derived from Chinese literature and folklore.
  • Occult stories: Stories that touch upon the adversaries of Good, especially the "Enemies" of the forces of righteousness as expressed in any given religious philosophy. Hence, stories of devils, demons, demonic possession, dark witchcraft, evil sorcerers or warlocks, and figures like the Antichrist would qualify. The nature of such stories presupposes the existence of the side of Good and the existence of a deity to be opposed to the forces of Evil.
  • Survival horror: A horror story about a protagonist in a risky and life-threatening situation that they must endure, often as a result of things such as zombies or other monsters, and the rest of the plot is how the main characters overcome this.

Romance edit

The term romance has multiple meanings; for example, historical romances like those of Walter Scott would use the term to mean "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; the interest of which turns upon marvellous and uncommon incidents".[11]

Most often, however, a romance is understood to be "love stories", emotion-driven stories that are primarily focused on the relationship between the main characters of the story. Beyond the focus on the relationship, the biggest defining characteristic of the romance genre is that a happy ending is always guaranteed,[12][13] perhaps marriage and living "happily ever after", or simply that the reader sees hope for the future of the romantic relationship.[13]

Due to the wide definition of romance, romance stories cover a wide variety of subjects and often fall into other genre categories in addition to romance.[12][13] Subgenres include:

Satire edit

In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.

Satire is usually meant to be funny, but its purpose is not primarily humour as an attack on something the author disapproves of, using wit. A common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre all frequently appear in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, is that "in satire, irony is militant". This "militant irony" (or sarcasm) often professes to approve (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.

Often strictly defined as a literary genre or form, though in practice it is also found in the graphic and performing arts.

Science fiction edit

Science fiction (once known as scientific romance) is similar to fantasy, except stories in this genre use scientific understanding to explain the universe that it takes place in. It generally includes or is centered on the presumed effects or ramifications of computers or machines; travel through space, time or alternate universes; alien life-forms; genetic engineering; or other such things. The science or technology used may or may not be very thoroughly elaborated on.

  • Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction: concerned with the end of civilization, either through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The time frame may be immediately after the catastrophe, focusing on the travails or psychology of survivors, or considerably later, often including the theme that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten (or mythologized). Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in an agrarian, non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of technology remain. There is a considerable degree of blurring between this form of science fiction and fiction that deals with false utopias or dystopic societies.
  • Hard science fiction: stories whose scientific elements are reasonably detailed, well-researched and considered to be relatively plausible given current knowledge and technology. Examples include Jurassic Park (1990) and Prey (2002).
  • Soft science fiction: stories in which the science involved is not detailed, typically dealing more with cultural, social, and political interactions.
    • Comic science fiction: exploits the genre's conventions for comic effect.
    • Military science fiction: in essence, the addition of science fiction elements into a military fiction story. These stories are told from the point of view of the military, or a main character who is a soldier in the military. It usually includes technology far superior to that of current day, but not necessarily implausible. (Some military science fiction stories fit at least somewhat into the "hard science fiction" subgenre as well.)
    • Feminist science fiction: tends to deal with women's roles in society. It poses questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles, the role reproduction plays in defining gender and the unequal political, economic and personal power of men and women. Some of the most notable feminist science fiction works have illustrated these themes using utopias to explore a society in which gender differences or gender power imbalances do not exist, or dystopias to explore worlds in which gender inequalities are intensified, thus asserting a need for feminist work to continue.
    • Libertarian science fiction: focuses on the politics and social order implied by libertarian philosophies with an emphasis on individualism and a limited state – and in some cases, no state whatsoever. As a genre, it can be seen as growing out of the 1930s and 1940s, when the science-fiction pulp magazines were reaching their peak at the same time as fascism and communism. While this environment gave rise to dystopian novels such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, in the pulps, this influence more often give rise to speculations about societies (or sub-groups) arising in direct opposition to totalitarianism.
    • Social science fiction: concerned less with the scientific background and more with sociological speculation about human society. In other words, it "absorbs and discusses anthropology", and speculates about human behavior and interactions. Exploration of fictional societies is one of the most interesting aspects of science fiction, allowing it to perform predictive and precautionary functions, to criticize the contemporary world and to present solutions, to portray alternative societies and to examine the implications of ethical principles.
  • Space opera: a story characterized by the extent of space travel and distinguished by the amount of time that protagonists spend in an active, space-faring lifestyle.
    • Science fiction Western: stories in which elements of science fiction are introduced in a Western setting. It is the complement of the 'space Western', which transposes Western elements into the setting of outer space. One example of a sci-fi Western would be the Cowboys & Aliens comics. they are different from Space Westerns, which are frontier stories indicative of American Westerns, except transposed to a backdrop of space exploration and settlement.
    • Planetary romance: the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the background of a future culture where travel between worlds by spaceship is commonplace; others, particularly the earliest examples of the genre, do not, and invoke flying carpets, astral projection, or other methods of getting between planets. In either case, the planetside adventures are the focus of the story, not the mode of travel.
    • Space Western: transposes themes of the American-Western genre to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers. It is the complement of the 'science fiction Western', which transposes science fiction themes onto an American Western setting.

Cyberpunk and derivatives edit

Cyberpunk is a speculative subgenre of scifi that involves stories with a futuristic storyline dealing with people who have been physically or mentally enhanced with cybernetic components, often featuring cyborgs or the singularity as a major theme, and generally somewhat cynical or dystopian (hence the "punk" portion of the name). This is often confused or placed with techno-thriller, which is actually a separate and less specialized genre.

  • Postcyberpunk: a sub-subgenre that some critics suggest has evolved from cyberpunk. Like its predecessor, postcyberpunk focuses on technological developments in near-future societies, typically examining the social effects of a ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, genetic engineering, modification of the human body, and the continued impact of perpetual technological change. Unlike "pure" cyberpunk, the works in this category feature characters who act to improve social conditions or at least protect the status quo from further decay.

A category of several different subgenres have been derived from cyberpunk, normally characterized by distinct technologies and sciences. The themes tend to be cynical or dystopian, and typically involve a person, or group of people, fighting the corruption of the government.

  • Retropunk: As a wider variety of writers began to work with cyberpunk concepts, new subgenres of science fiction emerged, playing off the cyberpunk label, and focusing on technology and its social effects in different ways. Many derivatives of cyberpunk are retro-futuristic, based either on the futuristic visions of past eras, or more recent extrapolations or exaggerations of the actual technology of those eras.
    • Atompunk: relates to the pre-digital, cultural period of 1945–1965, which includes: mid-century Modernism; the 'Atomic' and 'Space' Ages; post-war Communism and paranoia in the US along with Soviet styling; underground cinema; Googie architecture; the Space Race, Sputnik, and the Apollo 11 Moon landing; the golden-age of superhero comics; the rise of the American military–industrial complex; and radioactivity and the fall-out of Chernobyl. Communist analog atompunk is an ultimate lost world. The Fallout series of computer games is an example of atompunk.
    • Dieselpunk: Initially proposed as a genre by the creators of the role-playing game Children of the Sun, dieselpunk refers to fiction inspired by mid-century pulp stories, based on the aesthetics of the interbellum period through World War II (c. 1920–1945). Seemingly similar to steampunk in its themes of alternate history, dieselpunk is specifically characterized by the rise of petroleum power and technocratic perception, incorporating neo-noir elements and sharing themes more clearly with cyberpunk than steampunk. Some literature considered to be dieselpunk include The Man in the High Castle (1962), Fatherland (1992), The Plot Against America (2004), and Harry Turtledove's The War That Came Early series.
    • Steampunk: A story that takes place around the time steam power was first coming into use. The industrial revolution is a common time setting for steam punk stories, and the steam technology is often actually more advanced than the real technology of the time (for instance, the manga Steam Detectives features steam-powered robots). The most immediate form of steampunk subculture is the community of fans surrounding the genre. Others move beyond this, attempting to adopt a "steampunk" aesthetic through fashion, home decor and even music.
    • Clockpunk: This term has occasionally referred to a subgenre of speculative fiction that is similar to steampunk, but deviates in its technology. As with steampunk, it portrays advanced technology based on pre-modern designs, but rather than the steam power of the Industrial Age, the technology used is based on springs, clockwork and similar. Clockpunk is based very intensively on the works of Leonardo da Vinci and as such, it is typically set during the Renaissance. It is regarded as being a type of steampunk.
    • Mannerpunk: Also known as fantasy of manners, this subgenre combines tropes from traditional fantasy and the comedy of manners. Commonly shorthanded as "Jane Austen meets J.R.R. Tolkien," mannerpunk stories take place within an elaborate social hierarchy, with themes of class warfare and political intrigue, and battles of wits are more frequent than battles of arms. Magic and futuristic technology is rare or nonexistent in a typical mannerpunk setting, with fantastical trappings such as dragons and airships integrated into ordinary society. Swordspoint (1987) by Ellen Kushner was the first work to be labeled as mannerpunk.
  • Biopunk: A story that is about genetics and biological research (often falling under the horror category). It often focuses on some harmful effects characters have created when they change an animal's code to (unintentionally) create a violent monster. Biopunk emerged during the 1990s and depicts the underground of the biotechnological revolution that was expected to start having a profound impact on humanity in the first half of the 21st century. Biopunk fiction typically describes the struggles of individuals or groups, often the product of human experimentation, against a backdrop of totalitarian governments or megacorporations that misuse biotechnologies for social control or profiteering. Unlike cyberpunk, it builds not on information technology but on synthetic biology.
    • Nanopunk: similar to bio-punk, but depicts a world where the use of biotechnologies are limited or prohibited, so only nanotechnologies in wide use (while in biopunk bio- and nanotechnologies often coexist). Currently the genre is more concerned with the artistic and physiological impact of nanotechnology, than of aspects of the technology itself, which is still in its infancy. Unlike the cyberpunk, a low-life yet technologically advanced character, the personification of a nanopunk can be set 'hard' or 'soft', depending on your views of the impact nanotechnology will have on our future.
  • Solarpunk: A genre that envisions how the future might look if humanity succeeded in solving major contemporary challenges with an emphasis on sustainability problems such as climate change and pollution. Although solarpunk is highly concerned with technology, it also embraces low-tech ways of living sustainably such as gardening, positive psychology, and DIY culture.
  • ~Punk: Other Punk settings can be described by taking many of the core themes of technological success of Steampunk and Cyberpunk, and replacing the theme's core item of interest, around which the story revolves. Examples Include Crystalpunk, Skypunk, and the afore mentioned Nanopunk.

Speculative edit

Speculative fiction speculates about worlds that are unlike the real world in various important ways. In these contexts, it generally overlaps one or more of the following: science fiction, fantasy fiction, horror fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history.

  • Slipstream: Fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between science fiction/fantasy and mainstream literary fiction. The term slipstream was coined by cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling in an article originally published in SF Eye #5, July 1989. He wrote: "...this is a kind of writing which simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the 20th century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility." Slipstream fiction has consequently been referred to as "the fiction of strangeness", which is as clear a definition as any others in wide use.
  • Supernatural fiction: exploits or requires as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it. It includes the traditional ghost story. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is an example of a work of literary fiction that is also largely concerned with supernatural fiction elements, making play of the possibility that they are psychological at root, but requiring the option that they are not for effect. The newer speculative fiction genres of horror fiction and fantasy fiction, growing out of some of the basic propositions and generic conventions, to a certain extent replaced it.
  • Superhero fiction: deals with superheroes, supervillains, super-powered humans, aliens, or mutants, and their adventures. Distinct from (but often derived from) comic books, animated films, and graphic novels, these are prose stories and full-length novels. Superhero fiction is a type of speculative fiction. The largest and longest running of the corporate series are those associated with the DC Universe and the Marvel Universe.
  • Utopian and dystopian fiction: The utopia and its offshoot, the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures. Utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal world, or utopia, as the setting for a novel. Dystopian fiction is the opposite: creation of a nightmare world, or dystopia. Many novels combine both, often as a metaphor for the different directions humanity can take in its choices, ending up with one of two possible futures. Both utopias and dystopias are commonly found in science fiction and other speculative fiction genres, and arguably are by definition a type of speculative fiction. More than 400 utopian works were published prior to the year 1900 in the English language alone, with more than a thousand others during the 20th century.
  • Weird fiction: Speculative literature written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Weird fiction is distinguished from horror and fantasy in that it predates the niche marketing of genre fiction. Because genre or stylistic conventions had not been established, weird tales often blend the supernatural, mythical, and even scientific. British "weird" authors, for example, published their work in mainstream literary magazines even after American pulp magazines became popular. "Weird fiction" is chiefly a historical description for works through the 1930s, but the term has also been used since the 1980s, sometimes to refer to slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

Suppositional fiction is a subcategory in which stories and characters are constrained within an internally consistent world, but this category is not necessarily associated with any particular genre.[14][15][16] A work of suppositional fiction might be science fiction, alternate history, mystery, horror, or even suppositional fantasy, depending on the intent and focus of the author.

Thriller edit

A common theme in thrillers involves innocent victims dealing with deranged adversaries, as seen in Hitchcock's film Rebecca (1940), where Mrs. Danvers tries to persuade Mrs. De Winter to leap to her death

A thriller is a story that is usually a mix of fear and excitement. It has traits from the suspense genre and often from the action, adventure or mystery genres, but the level of terror makes it borderline horror fiction at times as well. It generally has a dark or serious theme, which also makes it similar to drama.

  • Disaster-thriller: A story about mass peril, where the protagonist's job is to both survive, and to save many other people from a grim fate, often a natural disaster such as a storm or volcanic eruption, but may also be a terrorist attack or epidemic of some sort.
  • Psychological thriller: emphasizes the psychological condition of the hero that presents obstacles to his objective, rather than the action. Some psychological thrillers are also about complicated stories that try to deliberately confuse the audience, often by showing them only the same confusing or seemingly nonsensical information that the hero gains.
  • Crime thriller: A story that revolves around the life of detectives, mobs, or other groups associated with criminal events in the story.
  • Techno-thriller: A story whose theme is usually technology, or the danger behind the technology people use, including the threat of cyber terrorism such as State of Fear.

Isekai edit

Isekai (Japanese: 異世界, transl. "different world" or "otherworld") is a Japanese genre of speculative fiction—both portal fantasy and science fiction are included. It includes novels, light novels, films, manga, anime and video games that revolve around a displaced person or people who are transported to and have to survive in another world, such as a fantasy world, virtual world, or parallel universe. Isekai is one of the most popular genres of anime, and Isekai stories share many common tropes – for example, a powerful protagonist who is able to beat most people in the other world by fighting. This plot device typically allows the audience to learn about the new world at the same pace as the protagonist over the course of their quest or lifetime.[17]

Other edit

Western: Stories in the Western genre are set in the American West, between the time of the Civil war and the early 20th century.[18] The setting of a wilderness or uncivilized area is especially important to the genre, and the setting is often described richly and in-depth. They focus on the adventure of the main character(s) and the contrast between civilization or society and the untamed wilderness, often featuring the characters working to bring civilization to the wilderness.[18][19]

This genre periodically overlaps with historical fiction, and while a more traditional definition of westerns is that of stories about lone men facing the frontier, more modern definitions and writings are often expanded to include any person or persons in this time period that feature a strong tone of the contrast between civilization and wilderness and emphasize the independence of the main character(s).[18]

  • Paranoid fiction: works of literature that explore the subjective nature of reality and how it can be manipulated by forces in power. These forces can be external, such as a totalitarian government, or they can be internal, such as a character's mental illness or refusal to accept the harshness of the world they live in.
  • Philosophical fiction: stories in which a significant proportion of the work is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. These might include the function and role of society, the purpose of life, ethics or morals, the role of art in human lives, and the role of experience or reason in the development of knowledge. Philosophical fiction works would include the so-called novel of ideas, including a significant proportion of science fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, and Bildungsroman. The modus operandi seems to be to use a normal story to simply explain difficult and dark parts of human life.
  • Political fiction is a subgenre of fiction that deals with political affairs. Political fiction has often used narrative to provide commentary on political events, systems and theories. Works of political fiction often "directly criticize an existing society or... present an alternative, sometimes fantastic, reality". Prominent pieces of political fiction have included the totalitarian dystopias of the early 20th century such as Jack London's The Iron Heel and Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here. Equally influential, if not more so, have been earlier pieces of political fiction such as Gulliver's Travels (1726), Candide (1759), and Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Political fiction frequently employs the literary modes of satire, often in the genres of utopian, dystopian, and social-science fiction.
    • Utopian fiction: The creation of an ideal world, or utopia, as the setting for a novel
    • Dystopian fiction: The creation of a nightmare world, or dystopia, as the setting for a novel
    • Social science fiction
    • Survivalism: The creation of world where traditional society has collapsed usually due to some post apocalyptic or doomsday scenario, as a setting for a novel
  • Sagas (from Icelandic saga, plural sögur): stories written in the Old Norse language, mainly in Iceland, that are about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. The texts are epic tales in prose, often with stanzas or whole poems in alliterative verse embedded in the text, of heroic deeds of days long gone, tales of worthy men, who were often Vikings, sometimes Pagan, sometimes Christian. The tales are usually realistic, except legendary sagas, sagas of saints, sagas of bishops and translated or recomposed romances. They are sometimes romanticised and fantastic, but always dealing with human beings one can understand.
    • Family saga: The family saga chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of time. In novels (or sometimes sequences of novels) with a serious intent, this is often a thematic device used to portray particular historical events, changes of social circumstances, or the ebb and flow of fortunes from a multiple of perspectives.
  • Urban fiction (aka street lit): a literary genre set, as the name implies, in a city landscape, as well as being defined by the race and culture of its characters. The tone for urban fiction is usually dark, focusing on the underside. Profanity (all of George Carlin's seven dirty words and urban variations thereof), sex and violence are usually explicit, with the writer not shying away from or watering-down the material. In this respect, urban fiction shares some common threads with dystopian or survivalist fiction. In the second wave of urban fiction, some variations of this model have been seen.

Film and television genres edit

While many genres of film and television originally derive from literature, genres in film and TV are also distinctly informed by audiovisual qualities, budgets, formats, and technologies. For that reason, film and TV genres may include additional categorical characteristics to consider, even diverging in some way from their literary counterparts altogether at times.

Scripted edit

Action and adventure edit

  • Action: works in this genre are generally defined by risk and stakes. Action films tend to feature a resourceful character struggling against life-threatening situations which generally conclude in victory for the hero. Subgenres include:
  • Adventure: features the hero in action scenes that display and explore exotic locations. Main plot elements include quests for lost continents, a jungle or desert settings, characters going on a treasure hunts and heroic journeys into the unknown. Adventure films are mostly set in a period background and may include adapted stories of historical or fictional adventure heroes within the historical context. Kings, battles, rebellion or piracy are commonly seen in adventure films. Adventure films may also be combined with other movie genres such as, science fiction, fantasy and sometimes war films. Subgenres of adventure films include:

Animation edit

Although animation is listed under "genres" and is classified as a genre by many film critics and streaming services, there is an ongoing debate between the animation community and the general public whether animation is a genre or a medium; and that the genres in the "Live-action scripted" genre can also be portrayed in an animated format, and the below kinds of animation are not types of stories, but simply types of ways that a film can be animated.

The American Film Institute defines animated as "a genre in which the film's images are primarily created by computer or hand and the characters are voiced by actors".[20] This classification includes:

  • Traditional animation (aka cel animation): A way of animating a cartoon by drawing and painting pictures by hand. Examples include: Beauty and the Beast and Spirited Away.
  • Animated series: A work created or adapted with a common series title, usually related to one another and can appear as much as up to once a week or daily during a prescribed time slot. Animated cartoon series are also sometimes created outside of broadcast television, as was the case for the Tom and Jerry short films that appeared in movie theaters from 1961 to 1962. Series can have either a finite number of episodes like a miniseries, a definite end, or be open-ended, without a predetermined number of episodes. Examples include: SpongeBob SquarePants, The Simpsons, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Computer-generated imagery (CGI): A genre of animation that includes animating a cartoon on a computer modeling program. Models of characters or props are created on the computer, and then programmed to do something specific. Then, when the animation is completely programmed, the computer can play a completely computer generated movie. CGI is often used for the visual effects in Live Action films as well. Examples include: Up (2009) or Toy Story (1995).
  • Stop motion: similar to traditional animation; instead of using hand drawn pictures, stop motion films are made with small figurines or other objects that have their picture taken many times over a sequence of small movements to create animation frames. Examples include: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Coraline (2009), and Corpse Bride (2005).
    • Claymation: A form of stop motion animation, except the subjects used are built specifically out of clay. Examples include: Chicken Run (2000) and Early Man (2018)
  • Puppetry: It is technically live action, but puppetry is a different way of "animating" a movie, and puppets are often used in lieu of live actors. Usually, there are small figurines or figures (similar to stop motion), but these are controlled and filmed in real time. Like CGI, puppetry can be found in live-action films as a method of achieving a special effect. Examples include: The Muppets, The Dark Crystal, and Thunderbirds.

Comedy edit

Devotional edit

Also known as bhakti films, these are based on the lives of historical or legendary devotees.[25][26] A sub-type of this genre is the amman film, revolving around characters' worship to Amman, an incarnation of Shakti.[27]

Drama edit

Within film, television, and radio (but not theatre), drama is a genre of narrative fiction (or semi-fiction) intended to be more serious than humorous in tone,[28] focusing on in-depth development of realistic characters who must deal with realistic emotional struggles. A drama is commonly considered the opposite of a comedy, but may also be considered separate from other works of some broad genre, such as a fantasy.

Given the broad definition of the genre, listed below are subgenres of drama that are not as likely to be associated with an additional genre (such as comedy-drama befitting the comedy genre).

Hindu mythology edit

Refers to films based on Hindu mythology, literature and the Puranas. Also known as the puranic genre. Up to 1923, 70% of Indian films belonged to this genre. However, after a number of such films started failing, the film industry began experimenting with other genres such as historical dramas and "socials" – films with contemporary settings.[29][30][31]

Historical edit

This genre includes works that deal with historical accounts or fictional narratives placed inside a historical setting. Subgenres include:

  • Alternate history: A genre defined by the rewriting of historical events for the sake of speculative outcomes. Examples include films like Inglourious Basterds (2009) and shows like The Man in the High Castle.
  • Biopic: A story detailing the life of a real-life person, either spanning a large portion of the subject's life or focussing on a particular period of significance in that person's life. Examples include: A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • Historical epic: The dramatized account of a large-scale event that has an attached historical account, often providing assumptions that fill in gaps in the account and/or revising the account in some way. Examples include: Ben-Hur (1959) and Troy (2004)
  • Historical event: focuses on a story that creates a dramatized depiction of an event that exists in popular accounts of history. One example is Apollo 13 (1995).
  • Historical fiction: A fictional story that takes place during a historical time period, commonly taking a more liberal approach to representing history for the sake of drama and entertainment. This subgenre may use real-life events and people to build context, but they are meant to be accepted as a supposition rather than serve as an accurate historical account. Examples include Titanic (1997).
    • Costume drama: A type of drama that especially relies on lavish costumes and designs. This type crosses over with many other genres.
  • Historical period drama (aka period piece): a film or show that is set in, and accurately depicts, a time period, rather than depicting specific real-life characters or events. A period piece may be set in a vague or general era such as the Middle Ages or a specific period such as the Roaring Twenties. Examples includes films like The Age of Innocence (1993) and Barry Lyndon (1975), as well as shows like Mad Men and The Alienist.

Horror edit

Horror is a genre in which works seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's primal fears.

Subgenres include:

Horror subgenres originating from specific countries include:

Science fiction edit

Subgenres include:

  • Cyberpunk: This subgenre is defined by a mixture of a desperate society oversaturated with the crime that takes place in a high-tech world that includes cybernetic organisms, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Examples include films like Blade Runner (1982) and Elysium (2013), as well as shows like Altered Carbon.
  • Dieselpunk: A derivative of cyberpunk, dieselpunk refers to fiction inspired by mid-century pulp stories, based on the aesthetics of the interbellum period through World War II (c. 1920–45). Seemingly similar to steampunk in its themes of alternate history, dieselpunk is specifically characterized by the rise of petroleum power and technocratic perception, incorporating neo-noir elements and sharing themes more clearly with cyberpunk than steampunk. Though the notability of dieselpunk as a genre is not entirely uncontested, installments ranging from the retro-futuristic film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow to the 2001 Activision video game Return to Castle Wolfenstein have been suggested as quintessential dieselpunk works of fiction.
  • Dystopian: A story that features a world or society that serves as a contradiction to an idyllic world. Often there is a centralized and oppressive government or religion that dictates the value of citizens on a dehumanizing level, and may or may not incorporate a destructive event that drove the creation of that centralized institution. Examples include Children of Men (2006) and Equilibrium (2002).
  • Military: A story defined by a strict focus on the military conflict in a speculative or future setting. As opposed to films that merely include space warfare, a military sci-fi story is limited to themes and events directly tied to military service and battle. Examples include Starship Troopers (1997) and Arrival (2016).
  • Post apocalyptic: Stories based around the occurrence, effects, and struggle generated by an apocalyptic event. Examples include: 12 Monkeys (1995).
  • Space opera: Defined by a mixture of space warfare, travel, adventure, and romance. Examples include films like The Fifth Element (1997), shows like Star Blazers, and media franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek.
    • Science fiction Western: stories in which elements of science fiction are introduced in a Western setting. It is the complement of the 'space Western', which transposes Western elements into the setting of outer space. One example of a sci-fi Western would be Cowboys & Aliens (2011).
    • Planetary romance: the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the background of a future culture where travel between worlds by spaceship is commonplace; others, particularly the earliest examples of the genre, do not, and invoke flying carpets, astral projection, or other methods of getting between planets. In either case, the planetside adventures are the focus of the story, not the mode of travel.
    • Space Western: transposes themes of the American-Western genre to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers. It is the complement of the 'science fiction Western', which transposes science fiction themes onto an American Western setting. One example of this genre is the show Firefly.
  • Steampunk: This subgenre is inspired by technology created during the 19th century and the industrial revolution, and may be set in a speculative future, alternate universe, or revision of the 1800s. Examples include films like Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Mortal Engines (2018), and shows like The Wild Wild West.
  • Tech noir: Defined by technology as the main source behind humanity's struggle and partial downfall; it is a hybrid of other works of fiction combining the film noir and science fiction or cyberpunk genres. It is a form of Neo-noir concentrating more on science fiction themes. The Terminator films are an example of this.
  • Utopian: This genre is defined by an idyllic world, generally with such themes as peace, harmony, and a world without hunger or homelessness. Examples include: Gattaca (1997) and Tomorrowland (2015)
  • Sci-fi comedy
  • Fantastique
  • Science fantasy
  • Gothic sci-fi
  • Sci-fi horror
  • New Wave sci-fi
  • Parallel universe
  • Tokusatsu

Western edit

This genre set in the American West and embody the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier.[20]

Subgenres include:

  • Epic Western: A story that emphasizes and incorporates many if not all of the elements of western genre, on a grand scale.
  • Empire Western: A story that follows a protagonist or a group of protagonists as they forge a large-scale business based on natural resources and land. It can also follow the creation of the railroad, or large-scale settlement.
  • Marshal Western: A story that follows a lawman as they attempt to track down, apprehend, and punish a criminal or group of gangsters.
  • Outlaw Western: A story that follows a criminal or group of criminals.
  • Revenge Western: A western where the protagonist seeks revenge.
  • Revisionist Western: A story that challenges and/or aims to disprove the notions propped up by traditional westerns.
  • Science fiction Western: stories in which elements of science fiction are introduced in a Western setting. It is the complement of the 'space Western', which transposes Western elements into the setting of outer space. One example of a sci-fi Western would be Cowboys & Aliens (2011).
  • Space Western: transposes themes of the American-Western genre to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers. It is the complement of the 'science fiction Western', which transposes science fiction themes onto an American Western setting. One example of this genre is the show Firefly.
  • Spaghetti Western: Western movie subgenre which began in the mid-1960s and is characterized by novel cinematography and cost-saving overseas production techniques. These films were made in Europe, primarily Italy and Spain, and set in the American Old West. These films were typically helmed by an Italian producer and director, and made for a significantly lower budget than was possible domestically in the United States.

Unscripted edit

By format and audience edit

  • Amateur: The low-budget hobbyist art of film practised for passion and enjoyment and not for business purposes. A notable historical example is the Zapruder film (1963).
  • Children's series: Aimed at children and families.
  • Documentary: A feature-length or near-feature-length film depicting a real-world event or person, told in a journalistic style. (If told in a literary narrative style the result is often a docudrama.) Examples: Hoop Dreams and The Thin Blue Line (1988).
  • Educational: helps kids learn their basics to go through school.
  • Factual television: non-fiction television programming that documents actual events and people. These type of programs are also described as documentary, television documentary, observational documentary, fly on the wall, docudrama, and reality television. The genre has existed in various forms since the early years of television, but the term factual television has most commonly described programs produced since the 1990s.
  • Infomercials and Direct response TV (DRTV): These are television commercials that generally include a phone number or website. Long-form infomercials are typically between 15 and 30 minutes long, and short-form infomercials are typically 30 seconds to 120 seconds long. Infomercials are also known as paid programming (or teleshopping in Europe). This phenomenon started in the United States where infomercials were typically shown overnight (usually 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.), outside of prime time commercial broadcasting peak hours. Some television stations chose to air infomercials as an alternative to the former practice of signing off. As of 2009, most US infomercial spending is during early morning, daytime, and evening hours.
  • Instructional: the use of television programs in the field of distance education. Educational television programs on instructional television may be less than one half hour long (generally 15 minutes in length) to help their integration into the classroom setting. These shows are often accompanied by teachers' guides that include material to help use this program in lessons. Instructional television programs are often shown during the daytime on PBS stations in the United States. However, fewer public television stations devote their airtime to ITV today than they do in the past; these days, ITV programs are either seen on a digital subchannel of non-commercial educational public television station, or passed on to a local educational-access television channel run by a public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV organization.
  • Reality film and reality television: A purportedly unscripted work (though evidence suggests that some scripting or manipulation occurs) featuring non-actors interacting with each other or dealing with invented or contrived challenges, such as competing against others for a prize. Produced in a similar fashion as the documentary film genre, but with more emphasis on the showing of interpersonal conflict, emotional reactions, or unusual occurrences. The genre has numerous widely varying subgenres.
  • Talk show: A television show in which one person (or a group of people) discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host. Usually, guests on a talk show consist of a group of people who are learned or who have great experience in relation to whatever issue is being discussed on the show for that particular episode. There are several major formats of talk shows, each subgenre generally predominating during a specific programming block during the broadcast day which informs the shows' overall style and themes. (Spoof talk shows are excluded from this list, as they are primarily scripted.)
    • Breakfast television: morning shows that generally alternate between news summaries, political coverage, feature stories, celebrity interviews, and musical performances.
      • Sunday morning talk shows: generally focus on political news and interviews with elected political figures and candidates for office, commentators, and journalists.
    • Daytime television: a block of TV shows that take place during the late-morning and afternoon on weekdays. Examples include The Ellen Degeneres Show.
      • "Lifestyle" or self-help: programs that generally feature a host or hosts of medical practitioners, therapists, or counselors and guests who seek intervention, describe medical or psychological problems, or offer advice. One example is The Dr. Oz Show.[35]
    • Tabloid talk show: a subgenre of the talk show genre in which the host invites a guest (either "ordinary" people, celebrities, political commentators, etc.), or a group of guests, to discuss provocative topics, including their own interpersonal issues. With topics ranging from marital infidelity to more outlandish subjects, guests are encouraged to make public confessions, and even resolve their issues via on-camera "group therapy".[36] These shows typically air during the day, though such criteria are not necessary for a talk show to be considered "tabloid". Examples include The Jerry Springer Show, Dr. Phil, and Maury.
    • Panel-discussion shows: evening (or late-night) programmes involving a group of people (often celebrities, comedians, politicians, experts, or other public figures) and usually a host/moderator, gathered to discuss a topic in front of an audience, usually with a focus on news, politics, and/or popular culture. Examples include After Dark, Real Time with Bill Maher, Loose Women.[37]
    • Late-night talk shows: talk shows that air or release (for web series) during the late evening/night, and focus primarily on topical comedy and variety entertainment. Most traditionally open with a monologue by the host, with jokes relating to current events. Other segments typically include interviews with celebrity guests, recurring comedy sketches, as well as performances by musicians or other stand-up comics.
    • Aftershows: feature in-depth discussion about a program that aired just before on the same network. These shows often have guests, who can include cast members and crew of the given show, as well as fans of the show. Example: Talking Dead (follows The Walking Dead).
  • Variety show: Also known as variety arts or variety entertainment, this is an entertainment made up of a variety of acts (hence the name), especially musical performances and sketch comedy, and normally introduced by a compère (master of ceremonies) or host. Other types of acts include magic, animal and circus acts, acrobatics, juggling and ventriloquism. Variety shows were a staple of anglophone television from its early days into the 1970s, and lasted into the 1980s. In several parts of the world, variety TV remains popular and widespread.
  • Television special

By subject edit

  • Concert film
  • Cooking show: A television program that presents food presentation in a kitchen television studio. Over the course of the program, the show's host, who is usually a celebrity chef, prepares one or more dishes over the course of the episode. The chef takes the viewing audience through the food's inspiration, preparation, and stages of cooking.
  • Game show: depicting a real contest, typically a trivia competition or physical challenge, with rewards in prizes or money. More often the participants are ordinary "everyday" people, such as Let's Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and The Price Is Right. The players may include celebrities, who can be found on such game shows as Match Game, Hollywood Squares, Hollywood Game Night and Celebrity Name Game.
  • Music television: where viewers listen to music on the television, commonly having a visual or complete music video. It is similar to a radio station apart from the visual components.
  • News program: television news broadcasting depicting real, up-to-date events
  • Political commentary
    • Public affairs: This refers to radio or television programs that focus on politics and public policy. Among commercial broadcasters, such programs are often only to satisfy U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory expectations and are not scheduled in prime time. Public affairs television programs are usually broadcast at times when few listeners or viewers are tuned in (or even awake) in the US, in time slots known as graveyard slots; such programs can be frequently encountered at times such as 5–6 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
  • Religious: produced by religious organizations, usually with a religious message. It can include church services, talk/variety shows, and dramatic movies. Within the last two decades, most religious programming is found on religious television networks.
  • Stand-up comedy: A style in which a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. The performer is commonly known as a comic, stand-up comic, stand-up comedian or simply a stand-up. In stand-up comedy the comedian usually recites a fast-paced succession of humorous stories, short jokes called "bits", and one-liners, which constitute what is typically called a monologue, routine or act. Some stand-up comedians use props, music or magic tricks to enhance their acts. Stand-up comedy is often performed in comedy clubs, bars, neo-burlesques, colleges, and theaters. Outside of live performance, stand-up is often distributed commercially via television, DVD, and the internet.
  • Sports TV: The coverage of sports as a television program, on radio and other broadcasting media. It usually involves one or more sports commentators describing the events as they happen, which is called "colour commentary".

Other television-related topics edit

  • Specialty channels are commercial broadcasting or non-commercial television channel that focus on a single genre, subject, or targeted television market at a specific demographic. The number of specialty channels has increased during the 1990s and 2000s while the previously common concept of countries having just a few (national) TV stations addressing all interest groups and demographics became increasingly outmoded, as it already had been for some time in several countries. About 65% of today's satellite channels are specialty channels.

Video game genres edit

Genres in video games are formulated somewhat differently than other forms of media. Unlike film or television, which are typically distinguished by visual or narrative elements, video games are generally categorized into genres based on their gameplay interaction, since this is the primary quality from which one experiences a video game.[38][39][40] In other words, the narrative setting does not impact gameplay; a role-playing game is still a role-playing game, whether it takes place in a magical kingdom or in outer space.[41][42]

Most genres from all other types of media can be applied to video games, but are secondary to the genre types described below, which are those unique to video games.

Action and adventure edit

Action edit

Action games are those defined by physical challenges, including hand-eye coordination and reaction-time.

Adventure and action-adventure edit

Role-playing game edit

Role-playing game (RPG) is one in which the player controls the actions of a character or characters immersed in some well-defined world. This is also similar to non-video game forms of gaming that involve roleplaying, including play-by-post gaming and tabletop roleplaying games. Most of these games cast the player in the role of a character that grows in strength and experience over the course of the game. The most exemplary of this genre are the Pokémon and Final Fantasy franchises.

Simulation edit

Simulation games are designed to closely simulate real-world activities.

Strategy edit

Strategy: A game centered around controlling or commanding a large group of characters, such as an army. Gameplay is centered around getting them to perform tasks or build structures so as to increase their power or numbers. Often the player's opponent has an army of their own, and in order to win the player needs to use their abilities in a strategic way so as to capture rival territory or destroy enemy structures.

  • 4X
  • Auto battler
  • Multiplayer online battle arena
  • Real-time strategy (RTS): where everybody moves at the same time, and races to think of a better strategy than the other players. Most of these video games are about military.
  • Real-time tactics
  • Turn-based strategy: Where everybody takes turns. Once everybody has placed their units and military characters in the right spot they can't move again until the next turn begins. This structure is prominently used in RPGs.
  • Turn-based tactics
  • Tower defense: Where the goal is to defend a player's territories or possessions by obstructing the enemy attackers, usually achieved by placing defensive structures on or along their path of attack.
  • Wargame: emphasize strategic or tactical warfare on a map. Wargames generally take one of four archetypal forms, depending on whether the game is turn-based or real-time and whether the game's focus is upon military strategy or tactics.
    • Grand strategy wargame
    • Military simulation: wargames with higher degrees of realism compared to other wargames and set in a fantasy or science fiction environment. These attempt to simulate real warfare at either a tactical or strategic level.[47]

Other edit

Technical categories edit

By platform and interface edit

Platforms are particular combinations of hardware and associated software through which video games are operated. As such, games are sometimes categorized by platform or interface, as differences in technology can lead to distinct gameplay and aesthetic features, etc. (Games are typically designed to be played on a limited number of platforms.)

By mechanics or other feature edit

Though some terms generally describe game mechanics rather than referring to a specific genre, they are often used to describe games as if it were in fact a defining genre.

By intent edit

Though video games are typically developed for the function of entertainment, there are some games developed for additional purposes. These include:

  • Advergame: promotional game or gaming software specifically made to advertise a product, organization, or viewpoint. Example: Pepsiman.
  • Art: games that are designed to emphasize art and/or are structured around the intent to evoke a non-ludological reaction in its audience
  • Casual: designed for ease of accessibility, simple-to-understand gameplay, quick-to-grasp rule sets, and generally low-intensity elements. They are aimed at mass market audiences rather than hardcore gamers.[49][50] Example: Angry Birds (2009)
  • Christian: games created to spread the Christian faith, as well as to provide Christian gamers with a common pool of games.
  • Educational: games adapted for educational purposes, to be used at home or school.
  • Esports game: a multiplayer game that are typically played competitively at the professional level.
  • Exergame: games designed to provide exercise, often designed to use with an ancillary exercise input device. Example: Wii Fit (which uses the Wii Balance Board)
  • Serious games

Music genres edit

Popular music edit

Popular music: any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media.

  • Blues: A somewhat somber, quieter style of music whose name refers to the unhappiness of the performer. These became popular in the early 20th century alongside jazz, and influenced the early development of rock music. A major genre within R&B, and one of its earliest genres as well.
  • Country music: American popular music that began in the rural regions of the Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from southeastern American folk music and Western music. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas. The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s in preference to the earlier term hillbilly music; it came to encompass Western music, which evolved parallel to hillbilly music from similar roots, in the mid-20th century. The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. In 2009 country music was the most listened to rush hour radio genre during the evening commute, and second most popular in the morning commute in the United States.
    • Bluegrass: is a form of American roots music, with roots in the English, Irish, and Scottish traditional music, a notable blues and jazz influence and a high lonesome sound, being later influenced by the music of African-Americans. Unlike country music, bluegrass is mostly accompanied by acoustic stringed instruments.
  • Electronic music: employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. It consists of a number of separate genres, many of which are still evolving. One major category within this form of music is electronic dance music (EDM), with its own multitude of genres and subgenres, which is primarily associated with the dance and club scene.
  • Hip hop and rap: more rhythmically based, mostly African-American urban-derived genres, with a wide array of subgenres between them.
  • Jazz: originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. Jazz has, from its early 20th-century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop.
  • Pop: once referred to any popular music during the time period, though the term has slowly gained use as a more specific (yet still somewhat vague) genre descriptor for music with a catchy, relatively consistent melody, among other aspects. It is commonly placed as having started in the mid-20th century, alongside rock music. Much dance music falls under this genre, and much modern rock music is considered to include elements of it as well, since bands such as the Beatles were a significant stylistic influence on what is now considered pop.
  • Rock: originated from folk and blues. It used newer electrical instruments instead of relying solely on the classical woodwinds and stringed instruments. It first became popular in the mid-20th century because of famous bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
    • Folk rock
    • Heavy metal: Similar to rock, and generally considered a subgenre of it. It usually uses the same electrical instruments, but the music is more intense and less "pop" in style (see below) such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
    • Punk rock: developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as proto-punk music, punk rock bands eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Includes work by The Adverts, the Sex Pistols and The Clash.
  • Rhythm and blues (R&B) and Soul music: an evolving range of genres of popular African-American music that first began to develop in the early 20th century.

Latin and Caribbean-influenced edit

  • Calypso: developed in the mid-20th century out of Kaiso music. The genre became a worldwide hit in the 1950s when the 1956 album titled Calypso was the first full-length record to sell more than a million copies.
  • Reggae: first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythmic style characterized by accents on the off-beat, known as the skank. Reggae is normally slower than ska. Reggae usually accents the second and fourth beat in each bar. Reggae song lyrics deal with many subjects, including religion, love, sexuality, peace, relationships, drugs, poverty, injustice and other social and political issues.
  • Reggaeton
  • Tango
  • Tropical
    • Mambo
    • Merengue: first developed in the Dominican Republic in the mid-19th century and has become very popular since then. The style of the genre uses the accordion usually as the lead instrument, the guitar and/or saxophone as the melody, tambora and güira percussion instruments and at intivals the marimba usually joining the combination.

Other edit

By time period edit

  • Early music: music from the year 500 through 1600. Early music is a broad musical era for the beginning of Western art music.
    • Medieval music: music composed from around the middle of the 5th century to the middle of the 15th century, largely characterized by monophonic and polyphonic music.
    • Renaissance music: largely composed from the middle of the 15th century to around 1600.
  • Common-practice period: (1650–1900)
    • Baroque music: composed from around 1600 to the middle of the 18th century. Much Baroque music is written in the form of dance suites.
    • Galant music: composed from the 1720s–70s.
    • Classical: music that was composed from around the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century. The key musical forms were the symphony, the concerto, and the sonata. Also includes some more recently written music (Neo-classical) that contains many of the same musical elements.
    • Romantic: composed from the early 19th century to about 1910, which emphasized dramatic themes and subject matter.
      • Neo-romantic: more recently written music that contain similar musical elements as the romantic period.
  • 20th-century (including 20th-century classical) and contemporary classical: a wide classification of music composed in the 20th century to the present. Music from the 20th century deals largely with sound experimentation and moving away from the traditional tendencies of tonality.

References edit

  1. ^ Cornwell, Neil (2006), The Absurd in Literature, New York, NY: Manchester University Press, ISBN 978-0-7190-7409-7
  2. ^ Saricks, Joyce (2009). The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. American Library Association. pp. 197–198. ISBN 978-0-8389-0989-8.
  3. ^ Orr, Cynthia (2013). Genreflecting. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 129–130. ISBN 978-1-59884-841-0.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "A Mythic Fiction Reading List", The Journal of Mythic Arts
  7. ^ a b Saricks, Joyce (2009). The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. American Library Association. pp. 291–292. ISBN 978-0-8389-0989-8.
  8. ^ a b Orr, Cynthia (2013). Genreflecting. Libraries Unlimited. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-59884-841-0.
  9. ^ James, M.R. "The Mezzotint". Gaslight. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013.
  10. ^ Jacobs, W.W. "The Monkey's Paw". Gaslight. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009.
  11. ^ Walter Scott, "Essay on Romance" (Prose Works, vol. VI), p. 129, as quoted in Scott, Walter. 1992. "Introduction". In Quentin Durward, edited by S. Maning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  12. ^ a b Saricks, Joyce (2009). The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. Chicago: American Library Association. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8389-0989-8.
  13. ^ a b c Orr, Cynthia (2013). Genreflecting. California: Libraries Unlimited. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-1-59884-841-0.
  14. ^ Izenberg, Orin. Being Numerous: Poetry and the Ground of Social Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011; p. 210
  15. ^ Leitch, Thomas M. What Stories Are: Narrative Theory and Interpretation University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1986; p. 127
  16. ^ Domańska, Ewa. Encounters: Philosophy of History After Postmodernism Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1998; p. 10
  17. ^ Mendlesohn, Farah (2014). "The Portal-Quest Fantasy". Rhetorics of Fantasy. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 9780819573919.
  18. ^ a b c Saricks, Joyce (2009). The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. American Library Association. pp. 313–314. ISBN 978-0-8389-0989-8.
  19. ^ Orr, Cynthia (2013). Genreflecting. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-1-59884-841-0.
  20. ^ a b c d "AFI's 10 TOP 10". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  21. ^ Guy, Randor (January 4, 2008). "Menaka 1935". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  22. ^ Aisenberg, Joseph. "Here Come the Bromides: Living in the Era of the Bromantic Comedy". Bright Lights Film Journal. July 31, 2009.
  23. ^ "Needs More Gay… Bromantic Comedies". The Backlot. January 26, 2011
  24. ^ "Dieta mediterránea" [Mediterranean Food]. IMDb. 2009.
  25. ^ Ramnath, Nandini (4 September 2015). "Prophets and profit: The miraculous world of Indian devotional films". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  26. ^ Watkins, Gregory J, ed. (22 August 2008). Teaching Religion and Film. Oxford University Press. pp. 86–88. ISBN 978-0-19-533598-9.
  27. ^ Velayutham, Selvaraj, ed. (3 April 2008). Tamil Cinema: The Cultural Politics of India's Other Film Industry. Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 978-1134154463.
  28. ^ "Drama". Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 2015. a play, movies, television show, or radio show that is about a serious subject and is not meant to make the audience laugh
  29. ^ Daniel Biltereyst; Philippe Meers; Richard Maltby, eds. (2011). Explorations in New Cinema History. Wiley. pp. 303–305. ISBN 9781444396409.
  30. ^ Narayan, Hari (2 March 2019). "'Deities and Devotees — Cinema, Religion and Politics in South India' review: The god in Telugu films". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  31. ^ Krishnaswamy, Dr S. (26 September 2013). "Made a social impact". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  32. ^ McFedries, Paul. "Dramality". Word Spy. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  33. ^ "Definition of dramality". MacMillan Dictionary. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  34. ^ Siddle, John (June 13, 2011). "Auditions for Only Way Is Essex-type dramality show filmed in Liverpool". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  35. ^ Mittell, Jason (2003). "Audiences Talking Genre: Television Talk Shows and Cultural Hierarchies". Journal of Popular Film and Television. 31 (1): 36–46. doi:10.1080/01956050309602867. ISSN 0195-6051. S2CID 192159361.
  36. ^ Hundley, Wendy (January 5, 1995). "Baring All On a Talk Show is No Way to Solve Problems". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  37. ^ Hruby, Patrick (28 March 2012). "Bill Maher's 'Real Time': The survival manual for conservative panelists". Washington Times.
  38. ^ Apperley, Thomas H. (2006). "Genre and game studies" (PDF). Simulation & Gaming. 37 (1): 6–23. doi:10.1177/1046878105282278. S2CID 17373114. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  39. ^ Adams, Ernest (9 July 2009). "Background: The Origins of Game Genres". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  40. ^ Wolf, Mark J.P. (2008). The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to Playstation and Beyond. ABC-CLIO. p. 259. ISBN 978-0313338687. Retrieved 2014-12-03.
  41. ^ Adams, Ernest; Andrew Rollings (2006). Fundamentals of Game Design. Prentice Hall. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-13-343571-9.
  42. ^ Harteveld, Casper (2011). Triadic Game Design: Balancing Reality, Meaning and Play. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-84996-157-8.
  43. ^ Mackey, Bob (22 July 2015). "The Gateway Guide to Walking Simulators". US Gamer. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  44. ^ Parkin, Simon; Stuart, Keith (17 June 2015). "Robots, dogs and the apocalypse: seven game design trends from E3 2015". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  45. ^ Rollings, Andrew; Ernest Adams (2003). Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. New Riders Publishing. pp. 417–441. ISBN 978-1-59273-001-8.
  46. ^ Wolf, Mark J. P. (2002). The Medium of the Video Game. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-79150-3.
  47. ^ a b Lahti, Evan (January 24, 2021). "These 9 genres need more games, please". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  48. ^ Regis, Ed (2009). "The Science of Spore". Scientific American. 300 (1): 90–91. Bibcode:2009SciAm.300a..90R. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0109-90. PMID 19186755. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  49. ^ Boyes, Emma (Feb 18, 2008). "GDC '08: Are casual games the future?". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
  50. ^ Ricchetti, Matt (February 17, 2012). "What Makes Social Games Social?". Gamasutra. Retrieved August 13, 2020.

External links edit