Gaming is the general term used to describe any activity that engages the active participation of one or more persons in a self-contained, digital environment whereby goals are achieved by interacting with digital devices. The most common types of games are console video games, PC games, and computer games. Computer games have extended far beyond their early arcade and console cousins and now cover a wide range of disciplines including education, business, and sports.
Console video games are designed for use by hardware such as a television set or laptop. A computer game or video game is generally an electronic game which involves interaction with an external user interface or device, including a keyboard, mouse, joystick, or game controller, to produce visual output. A game console system offers integrated computer game software which enables the player to interact with game play via a personal computer or game console. Game systems often include media such as CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, and memory cards that store game data.
Computer games can also be accessed directly through a computer or internet connection, using any modern PC or gaming console. Internet games offer many benefits such as saving money by avoiding wasted travel time and money, saving wasted time by not having to drive or sit in front of the television for hours, saving wasted energy by not having to constantly change from comfortable clothing to more active workout attire, and increasing overall family enjoyment by allowing family members to participate in a shared activity. Most internet games require little or no maintenance, and because they are played on computers they can be played anywhere there is an available Internet connection.
Computer games are generally divided into two main categories, namely digital and analogue. Digital video gaming (DV Gaming) uses transistors and changeable transistors to create images, sound, and animations which are then transmitted to a monitor, TV, or DVD player. Analogue gaming (AQ Gaming) uses mechanical movement to produce the same effect as video gaming. There are now home and personal computer systems which combine both analogue and digital video gaming. Some gaming equipment can use both types of systems. It is now possible to find computer systems which incorporate both video and audio technology.
The video game industry is estimated to be worth US $41 billion per year, with computer and video games being the main source of entertainment for millions of people. In addition to using the internet, mobile phones, game consoles, video games, and accessories are also used to enhance video games. Most major game consoles and handheld game devices are designed to work with particular cellular phone operating systems. Many video games are available for download from the internet or purchased for a limited time period from retailers.
Computer games can be categorized according to their components. Console type games are designed to work with the game console hardware such as Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and Gamecube. PC gaming comes in three types: free, public, and subscription. Free games are usually offered by websites such as Facebook or MySpace, while subscription games are purchased at a monthly fee. The gaming experience is highly interactive because players can interact with others and develop social relationships through online games.