Computer games are indisputably popular among teenagers. Because of their widespread use, many studies provide data on the short- and long-term effects of regularly playing computer games. Some studies conclude there is a link between playing violent video games and tendencies towards violent behavior. Increasingly, the social element to playing computer games affects how teenagers interact with peers. Playing computer games has also been shown to improve problem-solving skills and increase adeptness at using technology overall. But an addictive aspect to many games suggests that playing in moderation is critical. Related Studies
An online game is a game played over some form of computer network. This almost always means the Internet or equivalent technology, but games have always used whatever technology was current: modems before the Internet, and hard wired terminals before modems. The expansion of online gaming has reflected the overall expansion of computer networks from small local networks to the Internet and the growth of Internet access itself. Online games can range from simple text based games to games incorporating complex graphics and virtual worlds populated by many players simultaneously. Many online games have associated online communities, making online games a form of social activity beyond single player games. The rising popularity of Flash and Java led to an Internet revolution where websites could utilize streaming video, audio, and a whole new set of user interactivity. When Microsoft began packaging Flash as a pre-installed component of IE, the Internet began to shift from a data/information spectrum to also offer on-demand entertainment. This revolution paved the way for sites to offer games to web surfers. Some online multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XI and Lineage II charge a monthly fee to subscribe to their services, while games such as Guild Wars offer an alternative no monthly fee scheme. Many other sites relied on advertising revenues from on-site sponsors, while others, like RuneScape, or Tibia let people play for free while leaving the players the option of paying, unlocking new content for the members. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, many sites solely relying on advertising revenue dollars faced extreme adversity. Despite the decreasing profitability of online gaming websites, some sites have survived the fluctuating ad market by offsetting the advertising revenue loss by using the content as a cross-promotion tool for driving web visitors to other websites that the company owns. The term online gaming in many circles is being strictly defined to describe games that do not involve wagering, although many still use the term online gaming synonymously with online gambling. This article focuses on online games that do not involve wagering, online gambling is discussed in a separate article. "Online gaming is a technology rather than a genre; a mechanism for connecting players together rather than a particular pattern of gameplay." Online games are played over some form of computer network, now typically on the Internet. One advantage of online games is the ability to connect to multiplayer games, although single-player online games are quite common as well. •
First-person shooter games
During the 1990s, online games started to move from a wide variety of LAN protocols (such as IPX) and onto the Internet using the TCP/IP protocol. Doom popularized the concept of deathmatch, where multiple players battle each other head-to-head, as a new form of online game. Since Doom, many first-person shooter games contain online components to allow deathmatch or arena style play. •
Real-time strategy games
Early real-time strategy games often allowed multiplayer play over a modem or local network. As the Internet started to grow during the 1990s, software was developed that would allow players to tunnel the LAN protocols used by the games over the Internet. By the late...
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