Gaming is an industry term encompassing a wide variety of electronic games. Video games are played using personal computers and some other technologies such as infrared, laser, or light. Computer games can be for single player (one player) or multi-player (two or more players). The most common types of computer games are console video games (for the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, and Play Station 3) and computer game software (for PC and Mac).
Computer gaming involves using hand-held devices called game consoles or computer games controllers to interact with digital characters (the game characters) in the games. A game character is usually controlled via a mouse, keyboard, or joystick. Computer game software allows the user to create a virtual environment by developing images, sounds, and scenarios using game design tools such as animation or sound tracks. In most cases, the player has a limited number of commands or “actions” that the character can perform in the game to advance the storyline or accomplish objectives.
Popular computer games of the last several decades have included the massively popular World of Warcraft, Command and Conquer 3, Universe at War, Prince of Persia, Desert Storm, Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, and Counter Strike. Other types of massively popular online games include Age of Conan, Sims Medieval, Virtual Villagers, and Age of Conan. Some of the earliest game platforms used game systems that were based on primitive hand-held devices such as the Atari. Gaming systems and accessories have also been used in television programming, movies, public access channels, and interactive stage shows.
Gaming has become so popular that it is now included in many educational courses and training programs. A growing trend in educational technology is the integration of video games into the training curriculum. One example of this technology is learning with video games as part of the core curriculum. This includes using the Microsoft Office Suite, which includes the word processing application Word, the spreadsheet application Excel, and the presentation application PowerPoint. Using games as part of a teaching tool can help students learn how to properly interact with others in a virtual world. Gamers who are not comfortable interacting with others through text may be at a disadvantage when trying to take part in real-life situations.
Many people play video games for extended periods of time. There are numerous games that can be played for twenty or more hours straight. These individuals may become addicted to playing these games and may find themselves unable to stop playing them when they are involved in work or school activities. Some people report that they begin playing the games repeatedly after seeing the clock close down on their cell phone screen. It is easy to see why many adults find themselves playing computer games late at night while working, attending school, or sleeping. Gaming addiction is becoming a more serious issue in society today.
While games may be a great form of relaxation and leisure, they can have negative effects if not used responsibly. It is important to recognize when playing a video game can lead to addiction and when it can simply be a waste of time. Many adults are unaware that the amount of time they spend playing video games can have an impact on their lives. If you recognize the symptoms of a gambling or gaming addiction, you may want to discuss it with your spouse or child. In most cases, the addiction is not physically present, but it can be very real.