What is gaming? A computer game or video game is an interactive computer game which entails interaction with an external user interface (usually a mouse, joystick, keyboard, or optical motion sensor) or input device to produce visual feedback. In contrast, computer games that are more involved and complicated are often called “interactive”. There are also computer games that do not require any user input, but one requires interaction with the computer system in order to participate. A couple of examples of popular computer games are Tetris and solitaire.
Video gaming can take many forms. It can be for single players, where one player controls all the actions of the game; it can be for multiple players, where two or more players are competing against each other in a game; and it can be for a group of people playing together, usually through a Web browser. Some video game consoles also allow up to four players to participate at the same time in a game. Video gaming is fast becoming a hugely popular hobby and past time for children, teenagers, and adults alike.
Gaming has gained popularity as the means through which people can interact with each other in a safe setting. Online gaming and playing video games together can help a child or teenager develop important social skills, such as communicating and working together in a team. In a recent study on over 1,000 adolescents and young adults, it was found that playing online games helped to increase the number of friends that a person has. The increase in friends increased the teen’s social interactivity and their ability to negotiate peer relationships, according to research done by the National Coalition for Children and Families.
Playing video games has also recently been found to be effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety, according to a study done by researchers at the University of California – Davis. The study found that gamers who play role-playing games were more likely to express depression and anxiety than non-gamers; they also expressed less interest in and less pleasure with common hobbies like fishing, basketball, and snowboarding. However, the most significant finding from this study was the difference in depression and anxiety symptoms between gamers and non-gamers.
Playing video games can be beneficial to adults, too. Not only do most online gaming sites feature games that are not suitable for young children, but many adult gamers also regularly participate in online social and gaming communities. Many of these gamers find themselves going back to their computer or gaming console after years of spending time on hand-held consoles or handheld game consoles. The reason behind this trend is a desire for more social interaction; not only does online gaming provide a means to interact, but a player’s ability to make friends and form relationships with other players around the world.
Whether playing a single-player game, a multiplayer game, or both, it is clear that there is a tremendous amount of enjoyment that can be derived from playing a video game. Today, millions of people are continually logging on to their computer to take part in some form of massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The fact that most of these games involve complex and highly-interactive digital worlds makes them all the more interesting for players, many of whom end up spending hours immersing themselves in the virtual worlds created by these games.