Zelda: Evolution of a Genre

Everyone knows genre. Genre is everywhere. It is in music, literature, movies, and of course, videogames. It may also not be surprising to learn that Zelda can be considered a genre itself. Rick Altman (look it up) once theorized about genre and came to conclusion that genre consists of syntax and semantics. In terms of literature, which he used as his example, the syntax would be narrative structure and the semantics would be the characters and setting. In videogames, however, the syntax is the interactive elements, or gameplay, and the semantics are the theme, characters, and settings. Altman claimed that a genre could develop by changing one of the aspects, either syntax or semantics. Applying this to The Legend of Zelda franchise reveals how Nintendo has evolved the series, how fans perceive certain games, and even helps to predict how future games such as Skyward Sword and beyond will be.

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