Join me as I jump back into blogging with the first in a series of blogs on why we love the games we do. First up is the current big dog of the video game market, First Person Shooters.

Whether or not you like them, or realized it at the time, you've probably played an FPS at some point. If you haven't, or you don't and have never liked them, you're pretty firmly in the minority. Especially if you own a Microsoft console. Exact sales numbers are often rounded off, but both the original XBox and XBox 360 include FPS games as their two best sellers. The genre owns 5 of the top 10 spots on the NPD's fastest selling video games of all time and a pair of releases this fall are set to try and add another two to those.

Putting it simply, gamers in general can't get enough of them. Who can blame us though? They allow us to do the one thing we could never, ever, do in the real world. We get the thrill of gambling with our lives on a fast paced battlefield with out the consequences associated with actually having a grenade go off beneath our feet. What other type of game gives the option of stealthily stalking or Rambo charging your friends while earning points towards addictive RPG style upgrades and proving your ultimate superiority?

No matter which way you shake it, there are few things in video games as satisfying as looking down the sights of a gun while you unload on an opponent or lining up that perfect headshot on your friend from across the map for bragging rights. Being played from the first person perspective gives an unrivaled sense of power to the person playing the game, conveying a feeling akin to reaching into a world with your own hands and manipulating the course of events according to your whim. The close quarters and direct tie to the player created from seeing the world as if standing in it yourself allows for moments of intense, and frantic, action hardly ever rivaled by other genres.

Combine that action and frantic pace with online play and you've got one of the most addicting, entertaining, and social forms of competition on the planet. A world where anyone can jump in and compete, friends can take up arms with each other, and the dominate can crush their opponents with ruthless fury. Don't like just trying to kill everyone else? First Person Shooters have a solution for that with a plethora of different competitive modes along with the ability to join your buds and come up with your own.

FPS games are loved because they manage to pack variety into a straightforward and engaging package, while also allowing us to compete against other people and dominating our asses with a bombardment of over the top action. They've risen to a blockbuster status whose reach extends even beyond the gaming community. You'd be hard pressed to find a person who hasn't at least heard of Halo or Call of Duty in most major US cities and quite a few around the rest of the world as well.

So, there you have it. Those are the reasons why, I think, that gamers love FPS games. What do you think? Did I miss something? Tell me in the comments. Next up I take on RPGs.

NOTE: I realize that all games have their flaws, as do all game genres. I am not ignorant to this fact or the fact that not all games may best represent their respective genre and therefore do not need anyone to point that out or flame/hate on games they may or may not like. This is not about the games within the genre, it is about what makes the genre as a whole great. With that in mind, I would like to introduce a new phrase which I encourage people to use as a response to anyone who condemns an entire genre on the basis of one game.

"Don't hate the Genre, hate the game."