Question Do you use categories/genres to find games?


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When I look up a game, I find it by its name. I don't think I've just scanned through the "RPG section" or the "1st Person Shooter" section of a store since the brick & mortar days. Steam has a nice set of categories and subcategories all set up, which I never use. I might use tags to try and find things relevant to topics on forums or to keep certain types of games out of my store listings, but I've never used them to look for interesting games.

How about you folks?
I won't say I never use them, but I can't remember doing so. I find games via PCG articles or YT videos mostly.

I also do a search engine search for eg 'Games like far Cry'—that's how I found Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. I was familiar with both franchises but didn't realize they had open world titles.

I used to use Steam tags to hide titles, but it's become less effective because many titles now get 15+ tags, which hides titles with only a small bit of whatever.

On YT I watch relevant titles like eg 'Best open world games of 2021'.
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How about you folks?

I use them a lot. I would use them even more if they were in any way accurate. Despite all the categorization problems, it's better than nothing for some types of games. For instance, I can click on Horror and get mostly horror games back. I use that to easily see if there are any new ones out, or what is popular right now. But then there's the Survival category. Apparently people put just about any game where you can die into that category, so it's useless. Same thing with Survival Horror, which is a category most people don't understand. But if you do something simple like "Racing" or "FPS", you'll get decent results.

I play lots of indie games, so I have to use about every discovery method Steam provides to find games because there aren't any publications or YouTube channels that even scratch the surface on indie reporting.
When I look up a game, I find it by its name.
That's the primary way I look for a game that I've read or heard about. Usually, on PCG anyway, if a game is mentioned there is often a link to the Steam listing. I've found a lot of great games over the years, many being indie games, that I never would have found otherwise.

I have used the Steam search feature, mainly during big sales events, at least as a starting point, but they very rarely lead to anything useful. Games seem to have so many "tags" now, that doing an RPG search yields hundreds of games, many of which my mind wouldn't consider being RPGish, and I don't have the patience to go through screen after screen of games I have no interest in. I suppose there's a way to refine that search process, but I've never taken enough time to do it.
Its an easy short hand. Seems to me its been slowly replaced by 'Its X game with the combat of Y' as genres have become more mixed up. If you liked that, then you might like this.

I guess since most people (including me) have wish lists stretching off into the distance based on friend recommendations, hype, reviews, knowing who the developer was, or whatever you dont need to search in stores by genre tags as much anymore. You already have an idea what a game is before you search it. Thing is those games have probably been described to you before via genre tags from one of those sources anyway.

So yes, I also think they are still useful :)
Unlike most I do this quite often, if i'm enjoying a game i'll usually have a quick check through similar genres through steam. Sometimes if i'm feeling really adventurous i'll even narrow those searches by tags!
It's a great way to find sleeper hits, i remember after FTL going on a bit of a space bender to find games like it using this method,
ended up finding:
Starship Inspector
Holy Potatoes we're in space
Space Rogue
and they were all inferior games, unlike Crying Suns which was the only good game to come from the search.
Unplayed genres?

i didn't explain properly, basically in my steam collection i have a unplayed tag filter and genre tags set up automatically. So i can quickly search through by genre i haven't played yet. i also have sorted games by year as well so i know which one is the oldest. Not 100% accurate on the older stuff, but goo enough to filter out most of it.