A computer or video game is a computer program that involves interaction either with a human user interface or machine-like input device, including a keyboard, mouse, touch screen, or other motion sensitive device, to generate virtual visual feedback. In popular usage, the term “video game” refers to any of a wide variety of computer and video games, including computer and video games for children. The term “computer game” is more widely used in the field of interactive computer entertainment, in which the term video game is typically used to refer to computer or video games that are intended to be played using only a keyboard and a mouse.
Computer and video games have grown to include a wide variety of applications. Some of these applications include role playing games (also called massively multiplayer online games [MMOGs] ), which are multiplayer versions of single player games; action games, which are games that require players to physically interact with one another in order to advance and make progress through the game; racing games, which are simulations of car racing from the point of view of the vehicle, engine, and rider; sports gaming, which is a sub-genre of action and adventure games; and virtual reality games, which are computer games that allow the player to become virtually immersed in a simulated environment. The field of game design also includes things like puzzles and riddles, which require logic and reasoning skills in order to solve. There is even an application called the brain age game, which requires the player to manipulate and use their mind in a non-competitive environment. One of the most famous games in history is Tetris, which is a puzzle game requiring calculation, pattern recognition, and memory ability.
Computer and video gaming today has led to the development of a number of technologies. Among these technological advancements are consoles and online multiplayer video games. A game console system generally allows a player to interact with another player through a keyboard and mouse, providing for a first person experience. Many modern consoles also provide for voice communication, which enables a player to communicate with other gamers through speaking or gestures.
Online multiplayer gaming is a relatively new development in the gaming industry, but it is growing in popularity. In multiplayer online gaming, players utilize a special Internet “room” to interact with one another using a variety of consoles. These players can be from anywhere in the world and any gender, since gender and age issues are not a factor. Examples of online multiplayer games include EverQuest, which are free to play; Play Station 2, which are also free to play; and Guitar Hero, which require the use of a microphone. These games require the use of either a keyboard or a controller, though controllers are becoming increasingly popular. These games can also be downloaded from a variety of websites to a personal computer, gaming consoles, or portable gaming devices.
Another type of online multiplayer gaming is the format used by some of the biggest interactive television shows on earth: Star Trek Online and Eve Online. The Star Trek Online MMORPG is essentially a science fiction version of World of Warcraft, with combat consisting of player versus player combat, ship combat, and even space combat. The Eve Online MMORPG is set in space, but it also has real world areas for trading, running missions, and even going out on exploration and mining expeditions. In both these games, real money is used to buy upgrades and weapons and to buy new ships as they are needed.
Gaming is the most popular leisure activity on personal computers around the world. In the United States, gaming is one of the top download activities on major search engines, and video games rank second only to eBay when it comes to auction sales. It is almost certain that gaming will continue to grow in popularity, and the future looks particularly bright for game consoles as well as personal computers.