Video gaming has become a worldwide phenomenon, with the majority of people playing these games at least one hour a day. In Japan, where video gaming first originated, it was quickly followed by computer gaming and now is one of the world’s fastest growing leisure activities. However, many parents in the USA have been apprehensive about letting their children engage in such activities, fearing that they too might become addicted. While it is true that video gaming is incredibly violent and can be very addictive, the overwhelming majority of today’s youth are actually playing games that are suitable for their age and their interests, and which give them an excellent chance to interact with others.
A video game console is any computer game that involves interaction with a user-interfaces, such as a mouse, keyboard, joysticks, or game controller – to generate simulated physical feedback through a physical device. Modern consoles differ greatly, with some adopting progressive gaming, 3D virtual reality, or specific applications such as racing. These devices are generally connected to personal computers and to a television screen, providing the player with virtually real-life experiences. In this respect, gaming differs from computer programming in a number of ways. Whereas programming languages and games are usually designed to provide the programmer with a set path through which to complete the program, the player is free to make changes and explore different strategies. Also, unlike computer programming, where programming must be strictly followed to a tee, modern consoles allow the user to explore and experiment; consequently, a great deal of creativity and innovation is required in gaming.
Video gaming also includes the use of internet-based applications or “ODDs” (online games), which further expand the scope of interactive gaming. Internet-based games generally require minimal technical skill but do require some attention to detail, since many players interact with the game in a way similar to that of traditional “mortgage” games or “skill” games such as Monopoly. Internet-based “ODDs” can also include other types of computer-based games; for instance, a participant in an “odyssey” might need to click on items on a map, or might have to assemble a certain type of device, for example a toolbox. The rules may vary significantly between different games, although generally there are no time limits. Online gaming also provides the user with a means of interacting with other players, either by playing with a computer in a multiplayer mode, or by taking turns using a computer or game console system set up as a “social” network.
A variety of computer game genres exist, including action, role-playing, adventure, arcade, driving/racing, management, military, puzzle, motorcycle, sports, time management, classic, horror, war, and more. In terms of game genre classification, action is probably the most expansive, with genres such as first-person shooter, racing, strategy, and fighting providing a variety of possibilities for players to create their own stories and experiences. Strategy games, racing games, and motorcycle games all offer a degree of freedom not seen in action or adventure games, with the player having the ability to explore surroundings and interact with characters. Computer games that focus on adventure and puzzle game genres generally require players to solve puzzles or find objects, and interact with the environment to complete their goals.
While some developers have introduced a few “vr” (virtual reality) games, most mainstream titles are free of any kind of graphics or interactivity. This has led to a growing interest in online gaming for casual gamers who may be less familiar with complex interfaces and unfamiliar technologies. For this type of player, it is possible to eliminate most or all interaction within the game environment, instead communicating only through messages and feedback provided by other players. Many of these games provide an interactive learning experience through exploration, which can be achieved by providing limited interaction to a character or avatar.
Another group of people interested in this field are video game programmers and artists. Most video game consoles allow the players to create characters, develop environments, and engage in basic communication with others within the game environment. Due to the fact that video game consoles have been integrated with advanced artificial intelligence, programmers are increasingly using these controls to create unique characters that possess specific personalities and abilities. For this reason, it has become common practice for video game programmers and artists to leave their work-in-process to be able to focus on more important aspects of their projects. Whether it is improving visual designs or adding new features to existing games, there is no shortage of options available for aspiring artists and programmers to pursue.