The advent of video games is a phenomenon that is ever growing and evolving since its creation. One of its later iteration that has exponentially grown has been multiplayer online video games. As an example of its ever growing popularity and profitability, the XBOX LIVE online service offered by Microsoft for its XBOX and XBOX 360 consoles is “ poised to bring in $1 billion a year for the publisher by 2013” (Magrino). He also goes on to report “XBOX Live revenues increased 84 percent during the year 2008” and that ” Driving this figure, the research firm stated, was the increasing penetration of broadband Internet connectivity, which is predicted to reach 562 million people in 2009.” This growth comes with some baggage. Being that most online multiplayer video games are in real time and rely on comparing end user reaction times in hundreds of a second, network latency, jitter and loss become a problem. Network latency is defined as “an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another.”(Blair) In this case the round trip time from one point to another is what really matters: which is also known as Round Trip Time (RTT). Some of the sources of latency are: (Blair):
• Propagation: This is simply the time it takes for a packet to travel between one place and another at the speed of light.
• Transmission: The medium itself (whether optical fiber, wireless, or some other) introduces some delay. The size of the packet introduces delay in a round trip since a larger packet will take longer to receive and return than a short one. • Router and other processing: Each gateway node takes time to examine and possibly change the header in a packet (for example, changing the hop count in the time‐to‐live field).
• Other computer and storage delays: Within networks at each end of the journey, a packet may be subject to storage and hard disk access delays at intermediate devices ...