The Curse of Genre has posted a column by indie developer Cliff Harris discussing how genre limitations can remove surprise, personal style and innovation from games. Here's an abstract:

"These days we have established genres such as FPS, RPG, MMORPG-even Tactical Shooter and RTS. In some ways, this is great, you can tell a lot about how to play a game, and what you will like about it from the genre. I love a decent FPS and RTS but I dislike RPG games and Beat 'em ups. I like some management and tycoon games, and so on.

But the problem is we have got so used to slotting games into genres we have all but forgotten how cool it was before they existed... These days it seems the designers pick their genre before they even pick the theme. Right away, at line one, page one of the design document, they throw away 99 percent of the freedom that game designers had in the old days."

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