A computer or video game is a video display that involves interaction by a user with an interactive output device or user interface (such as a mouse, joystick, keyboard, or infrared motion sensor) to produce visual output. Video games have been developed for many different gaming platforms including personal computers, hand held devices like mobile phones and handheld video games like video boards. Computer games can also be played on a television using a game console. Gaming consoles are also available for use by consumers at retail establishments. Some video games can also be downloaded from the Internet and played on handheld computers and gaming consoles.
Video games that involve interaction with the user or other players are called “immersive gaming.” This includes games that are played with real people in real situations that require the use of safety settings to limit the number of players involved. Many video game manufacturers advise against the use of realistic features and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology, because they can cause negative reactions from some gamers. Gamers who participate in these “immersive gaming” experiences are also often considered as “hard core” or “alt.”
The video game industry has responded to the concerns of gamers by developing new types of hardware and other technologies that can help them participate in more immersive gaming experiences. New titles are continually being created to challenge the gaming ability of gamers. The result is that the complexity of these games is increasing. While the overall level of quality is not compromised, the complexity of the graphics requires more processing power and memory capacity from the system’s processor. Consequently, the new titles are becoming harder to play.
Gaming systems today include built-in media players that can stream online movies, music, and television content from a home computer to a gaming console. These media players have greatly increased the number of people who can now play games. While there are limitations to the type of media that can be streamed, the advent of downloadable content has helped open the door to increased interactivity between players and game consoles. Gamers no longer have to wait while their friends complete a mission or go on quests if they are having a hard time finishing an objective. They can immediately start playing a new game and can continue to play it even if there are other players in the same room.
Advancements in the Internet and gaming technology have led to the introduction of voice chat applications, usually referred to as VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), that allows gamers to communicate through computer networks using normal voice channels instead of using headsets. This has made it possible to play multiplayer online games without having to worry about talking through a headset. Many of these VOIP applications are free to download and use. In fact, a majority of the popular game consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation 2 come pre-loaded with at least one such application.
With the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets like the iPad and the Android tablet, it is easy to envision the future of gaming. We already know that many people are playing role-playing or online games using their cell phones, so this represents a massive leap in technology. As mobile gaming takes off, we will see advancements in camera technology, user interfaces, controls, and more. All of which are making it possible for gamers to enjoy their games to the fullest.