@zkillz: I think the 'X clone' method is preferable when speaking or in informal discussion, but I think the purpose here is to try and lay down some kind of firmament around the issue, specifically when it refers to games that are in either obscure or singular genres. For instance, I could agree with your method when referring to survival horror games... for too long I've heard the discrete term 'survival horror' used to reference absolutely any game that is scary, or tough, or has resource scarcity, when survival horror specifically refers to games that are clones of Resident Evil. Dead Space and FEAR and Amnesia are absolutely not survival horror games, they're a third person shooter, a first person shooter and a first person puzzle game. Amnesia gets called survival horror when in terms of genre it has more in common with Portal than it does Silent Hill or Dino Crisis. But I believe Gamer is looking for formal distinctions that can apply to new games, whereas the 'X clone' system can only apply to new games as much as they conform to older ones, or until new games that spawn new styles come along.
@gamer_152: Sorry I'm only getting back to you. Yes, your 'reaction/contemplation' or 'action/strategy' is pretty much the same framework as what I've stated; control method skill versus logic. In hindsight I could agree with adding the statistical nature of RPG in alongside them, since they are a different kind of logic than let's say adventure games or block puzzles, but a form nontheless. I will say that most games actually do not give you statistics with which you have agency. You don't get that from Mario, from Sonic, even from most Legend of Zelda games. You acquire things and they have set benefits, but you have no control over these benefits. 'Arcade' style racers simply gave you a car and said drive, but a racing game that allowed you to tune your car to any meaningful degree gives you statistics with agency. Ice Hockey for the NES is a pure action game, but NHL 97 is an action RPG.