Gamers all over the world enjoy playing computer or video games. Most of these video or computer games are developed for consoles such as Sony, Nintendo, Sega, and Microsoft. Video or computer games are played through the use of a video game system which is also referred to as video gaming. The popularity of video games has reached all walks of life and have become an entertainment option for families, college students, men, women and children. Gamers spend hours in front of their computer playing these video games. They may play for short periods of time or for many hours at a time.
A video game or online game is a computer or video game that entails interaction with a user agent or interface device including a keyboard, mouse, joystick, or game pad, video display, audio output, video input, and various network technologies such as CD-ROMs, cable networks, infrared, or broadband Internet. A major element of the gaming experience is the use of special-purpose hardware and software that is designed to give the user experience with interaction with an animated character, game environment, digital world or the actual environment or location where the game is set. Video or computer games are based on a storyline developed by the game developer. Many popular video games today have evolved from simple arcade games into massively multi-player online role playing games (MMORPG) which are played by hundreds of thousands of users at the same time.
Gaming devices such as computers, laptops, handheld consoles, handheld game consoles, video game servers, and others are used to give the players the virtual experience of being involved in the game environment. Video gaming devices are now being used in educational institutions to enhance the learning experience of students. Gamers can socialize, compete, and create friendships not only with fellow gamers but with people who may live across the globe. These days, it is even possible to purchase high-definition televisions that allow users to enjoy games online via a high-speed Internet connection.
Gamers will often purchase new video games as well as used ones to keep up with the latest titles. However, there are certain formats that are generally available for all video games regardless of the manufacturer or the platform. These formats include CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray Disc. Some formats also work on a computer but generally not with handheld consoles or laptops. Video gaming accessories such as video game controllers, game pads, memory sticks, and screen monitors are widely available and often sold by retailers specializing in video games.
With the introduction of online gaming, the term LAN party was introduced to define the scene surrounding online gaming. Online gaming involves many players participating in a shared virtual space. In contrast to an arcade, in which there is only one player who controls the action, in a LAN party there are more than one players who are each given control of a portion of the screen. They may each be responsible for a section of the screen or the entire screen. Each player has a variety of options available to them including playing against a computer or human player; whether to play using a keyboard or a gamepad; and whether or not to utilize high scores, which are saved on a server and displayed for online players to see.
As technology has developed so has the type of hardware that is used in online gaming. Today, players can choose from a variety of platforms including dedicated gaming consoles such as Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, hand held or wireless consoles such as Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS, and computer based consoles like the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DSi. In addition, players can choose to play utilizing a mouse, a touch screen, or a keyboard and joystick. Regardless of the type of hardware that is chosen, online gaming is the fastest growing segment of the global games market.