What exactly is gaming? Gaming is the act of playing computer or video games (usually for entertainment purposes) through the use of a computer system, typically a personal computer, video display, speakers, headphones, or a set of monitors. These devices are connected to the Internet in order to allow the player to interact with others through various forms of input. Video games often use text controls or a combination of text and graphical (interactive) game prompts.
A console also refers to a specialized type of gaming apparatus that is generally part of a packaged entertainment system. A typical console will include controller controllers, a video display, a disk drive, and other features. Although many games can be played back using only these four components, a growing number of consoles are sold with extra components, including a digital optical disc burner, DVD burner, and more. These additional components may not only add convenience and a greater degree of variety to the game play, but also allow the player to “mod” or create their own games and add to the complexity of the available options. For instance, some gamers have created “modpacks” that add new content or options to already existing games.
Gaming has exploded over the past decade, largely due to the availability of powerful, high-quality gaming consoles and the addition of various add-on components. Prior to the advent of modern game consoles, people were unable to create quality games for gaming consoles because they either did not exist or were very expensive to manufacture. Console gaming began to boom around the mid to late 1980s, as computers became more affordable and the prevalence of PCs grew. As the 1980s ended, the availability of computers and their components, especially the computer networking technologies began to decline. This made it even more difficult to develop high quality games for consoles. The result: console gaming slipped into relative obscurity for several years until the late 1990s, when the Xbox and PlayStation 2 hit the market.
The rise of Internet gaming made a huge impact on the video gaming industry over the course of the next two decades. Internet gaming allowed millions of players from around the world to connect at high-speed online to compete with each other. In the early 2000s, this level of connectivity between players was virtually nonexistent, but that trend quickly changed. The availability of broadband Internet services and increasing numbers of consumers with Internet connections made it possible for gamers to enjoy their games in new layers of graphical detail and richer sounds than ever before.
With the dramatic rise in popularity of online gaming, it also became necessary for the industry to develop new ways for people to interact within the games. Serious gamers are so immersed in the game’s mechanics and the complexity of its controls that it is sometimes difficult for non-gamers to get a sense of what is happening and to participate. This is where online games developed “ladder systems”, which helped gamers move up the ladder of rankings by successfully achieving certain milestones within the game. Other elements of online gaming developed into online mechanisms for creating social interaction and communities. Today, many games feature chat features that allow players to discuss various aspects of the game, ranging from tips and strategies to hints and suggestions.
Cloud gaming also entered the competitive gaming market during the same period as the growth of e-sports. Like the e-sports of traditional sports, the development and growth of the online gaming market has relied heavily on the use of complex technologies and artificial intelligence. In contrast to previous console and PC gaming, where motion detection and simple 3D graphics provided the basic foundation for game play, cloud gaming came to rely on highly advanced artificial intelligence and the delivery of large-scale networks. This innovation, which started out as an offshoot of e-sports, made it possible for game play to take place across a wide array of devices and to be enjoyed by thousands of viewers. Cloud gaming has become a successful and lucrative industry, especially considering the huge prize money that can be won.