Gaming is the general term used to describe any of a wide variety of electronic games. These can include computer games, video games, console video games, and even virtual games that can be played on computers or other platforms. While there is no real debate as to the fact that gaming has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, many people are confused about what the term actually means. Essentially, a game is a virtual reality, or simulation, which is designed primarily for the purpose of entertainment. While this may seem like broadening of the term, it is not.
A video game or computer game, therefore, is a digital interactive game that entails interaction with an input device or user interface, including a joystick, mouse, keyboard, or infrared motion sensor. Video games are often packaged with other types of media, such as images, music, computer software, and so forth. Often, video games can be purchased for a specific period of time or purchased outright. Often, there are various ways to play video games, such as “modding” or “scaling” which refers to changing the appearance or functionality of the game.
“LAN gaming” refers to using a network of personal computers to play video games. This type of gaming is often done over a modem/router/firewalls combination, with Internet connections provided. LAN gaming has become very popular among younger generations, who may call themselves “party gamers.” Generally, LAN gaming is a multiplayer game where each player connects to each other using personal computers that are connected to the Internet.
“PC gaming” generally refers to playing video games on a personal computer that is connected to the Internet. Typically, this type of gaming requires a high-speed Internet connection to play. As with other types of multiplayer games, this type of game can be played with multiple players; however, it is often only possible to play this type of game over an Internet connection. This is because most PC video games do not utilize networking capabilities to connect the computer to other personal computers.
“Internet gaming” is a subset of gaming. Internet gaming usually refers to using a modem/router combination to connect to a peer-to-peer connection to provide Internet access in order to play a video game. Internet games that use peer-to-peer technology have no restrictions placed on the type of hardware that is needed in order to play the game.
Finally, the term “social gaming” generally refers to Internet activity in which the interaction is between real people rather than between artificial objects, although this sub-type of gaming has developed quite a bit since its inception. In short, the term “video gaming” can be used to refer to any type of game activity that takes place on the Internet. It is important to remember, however, that there is quite a bit of overlap among the various categories of video gaming, which means that a person who is looking for an activity that all gamers might partake in might need to examine many different types of gaming before finding what she or he wants to do. There are even some online communities, such as the “ults”, which can be a good starting point when looking to find a specific type of game to participate in.