A computer or video game is simply an electronic game that entails interaction with a user interface (an x-box, keyboard, mouse, or special motion sensing devices) to generate virtual visual output. There are many types of computer and video games available for the player to choose from. These video games can be played at home, in a public place such as a shopping mall, at a computer cafe, or even in an online gaming environment. Most video games can be downloaded for free from the Internet.
Video games can be violent or non-violent. They can involve violence, nudity, blood, or strong language. In Japan, many elementary schools have karaoke machines that allow children to sing, play rhythm games, and prepare their own vocals and instrumentals to play popular Japanese songs. Some video games are so advanced that the player can “customize” his character and experience game play completely different from other players.
Computer video games can also take advantage of the Internet. Players can connect to a high-speed broadband Internet network through their computers and use a digital optical network card to transfer video game data from their computer to a hard drive. The hard drive stores the data until the player desires to access it. The player then uses the keyboard to manipulate the game interface and to select items.
Computer video games also can take advantage of CD-ROMs (digitally read electronic media including Compact Discs, DVD disks, and other media). CD-ROMs contain digitally read information that can be loaded into the computer memory in the form of a program. These programs are generally designed to load video games and other multimedia content. Many of these CD-ROMs require the player’s consent to install and play the software or to use the media.
Online games take advantage of advances in technology to provide a highly realistic environment. Gamers often take on the persona of members of an imaginary group. Gamers communicate with each other using a variety of personal devices including chat boxes and text networks. These groups build friendships that span the virtual world and can include members from all over the world. Online video games can take advantage of this global friendship. As such, online game play has created strong ties among various cultures, allowing people to identify with one another even if they do not speak a common language.
Gaming is taking over television and radio programming. Many companies now have entire television stations devoted to gaming. In addition, more video game magazines are being published. In addition to providing a venue for interactive game play, many of these magazines offer news, reviews, and other features that contribute to the growing popularity of video games. As the name suggests, gaming is not only for young people anymore.