Online Games

Topics: Online game, Massively multiplayer online game, Video game genres Pages: 7 (1750 words) Published: June 28, 2014


Context

Online games are games played over some form of computer network. It directly implies that online gaming is a direct application of the Internet or equivalent technology. But games have always used whatever technology was existent at that point of time; for instance, 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. This revolution paved the way for sites that 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. Online games that do not involve wagering, however online gambling does.

One advantage of online games is the ability to connect to multiplayer games, although single-player online games are quite common as well.

Types of Online Games

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- RTS

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 1990s, most RTS games had native Internet support, allowing players from all over the globe to play with each other. Services were created to allow players to be automatically matched against another player wishing to play or lobbies were formed where people could meet in so called game rooms. An example was the MSN Gaming Zone where online game communities were formed by active players for games, such as Age of Empires and Microsoft Ants.

Cross-platform online play

As consoles are becoming more like computers, online gameplay is expanding. Once online games started crowding the market, open source networks, such as the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Xbox took advantage of online functionality with its PC game counterpart. Games such as Phantasy Star Online have private servers that function on multiple consoles. Dreamcast, PC, Macintosh and GameCube players are...
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