Gaming and Online Gaming
Gaming is an internet term used to describe any online activity in which people interact through computers or their game consoles. A computer game or video game is an interactive electronic game which entails direct interaction by a user with an external user interface device, typically including a joystick, game pad, keyboard, mouse, or optical motion sensor device. This type of computer application refers to the use of specialized computer languages and scripting systems to allow for the communication of one-to-one or one-to-many messages between players and game programs.
Video game consoles refer to consoles that are designed for playing specific types of computer games, usually manufactured by companies that manufacture both console and computer systems. Consoles generally consist of a game system, an input device that enables the gamer to interact with the game system, a memory card or hard drive, and a display. Game consoles are sold for a set price and play an integral part in the overall enjoyment of video gaming. Arcade gaming, on the other hand, is described as using machines that replicate video games, usually based on a popular theme, in a controlled environment, often with other people or animals as participants. Arcade gaming has become a large market in the U.S. and around the world, and accounts for the creation of numerous licensed video games.
Console manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega and PC makers like Valve have all introduced new generations of video game consoles in recent years. In the face of stiff competition from Japanese competitors, Sony has introduced a new PS3, powered by its own PlayStation brand of PlayStation software. Microsoft has developed a Xbox brand of gaming console and has also produced competing versions of its own called Xbox 360 and Xbox Live. Sega has developed its own version of the Game Gear video game console, while Nintendo and Valve have produced competing versions of the popular Half-Life and Counter-Strike video games.
With so many different types of platforms, video game programmers and game designers have a wide range of career opportunities. Many work on game engines, helping to create the visual aspect and basic functioning of these highly interactive and complex programs. Other programmers work with video game companies and design teams, helping to develop new titles and revamping and updating older ones. Many programmers also work freelance, providing their services to individuals on a contract basis. There are also independent game developers and freelance video game programmers who have found great success in obtaining publishing deals.
Video game designers can find work as concept designers, producers, programmers or executives involved with production and marketing of video games. Concept designers work in making up the basic concepts of the game, looking to achieve the most comprehensive and interesting game possible. Production designers will create the basic game modules, often working closely with producers, and artists will implement the levels and characters into the game’s various stages. Programmers write the code that runs the majority of a game’s operation. Quality assurance and testing of these components are left to quality assurance professionals.
In addition to standard consoles and game machines, there are now specific consoles and computers that are designed for online gaming. Most of these devices are fully backwards compatible with standard game consoles. Certain models require an internet connection, while others use proprietary connections only. These special consoles allow users to play their favorite online games on their personal computer or television.