Video games are an interactive entertainment medium. They are usually played on a personal computer (PC) or a video game console. But there are also other devices that can be used for gaming, such as smartphones. Mobile games are often free, and are supported by microtransactions that allow players to purchase cosmetic items. Several mobile games are augmented reality (AR) products. The AR component is achieved through the use of camera devices, such as smartphones, to display game elements over the real world. Some mobile games even use global positioning information to help determine where the player is.
Gaming is a popular activity, especially among youngsters. However, medical experts have raised concerns about the negative effects of gaming on children. As a result, some countries have enacted laws to regulate gaming habits. Others have expressed concern about the addictive nature of some video games.
The term “gaming” originated in the 15th century to refer to gambling. Until the late 1900s, the word was also used to describe recreational board games and pen-and-paper role-playing games.
Today, gaming has become one of the largest sectors of the entertainment industry. It is estimated that more than three billion people worldwide enjoy games. Games are available on PCs, consoles, smartphones, and tablets. Many games are for entertainment, but they can be educational as well. Often, they are designed to teach practical skills, such as navigation and spatial reasoning. Other games have elements of science, fantasy, and even sports.
Games can be played alone or with others. Many multiplayer games are played over the internet, while other games can be played in local groups. Multiplayer games are generally competitive, and involve playing against another person or team.
In some games, the user must learn to navigate in a 3D space, and to make strategic decisions based on their surroundings. This helps the player develop mental maps and better navigate in real life. A video game that features a persistent world is a virtual reality system. Similarly, some games have a haptic feedback mechanic, which is built into the controller. Such feedback may be tied to a player’s actions, such as in earthquake simulations.
In addition to gaming, there is a growing industry of instructional games. These games are designed to teach a specific lesson, such as a historical event or a scientific principle. Educational games are called edutainment. These games can be downloaded from websites or purchased in physical formats, such as CD-ROMs. Occasionally, a game’s content is sold on a digital marketplace, such as iTunes.
The Bartle taxonomy of player types was developed by British writer and professor John Bartle in 1996. According to this taxonomy, there are four main categories of player types. There are those who are active agents, those who play passively, those who play for money, and those who play with others.
Some games feature violence or other ill-tempered content. Because of this, many parents have questioned whether video games are harmful. Parents have also complained that violent games could desensitize kids to violence, and have introduced laws to restrict children from playing violent games.