You may have heard several opinions about the gaming platforms or gaming industry in general. Whether you play games on your computer or in a stand alone console, both methods are sure to keep you busy for several hours if you let them. Must of us have heard of kids spending a lot of hours in front of the computer at the expense of school responsibilities and chores. It can’t be denied that whenever you start playing, you can’t get off your seat or take your eyes away from the monitor. In some cases, you might even forget that your phone is ringing, your food you are cooking in the oven is ready or that someone might be waiting for you. But hey, playing online games is not all that bad.It is easy for teens and young adults to become addicted to games, whether it is through stand alone consoles or through the computer, the impulse and anxiety produced by games are a huge factor which contributes to the problem, but it doesn’t have to be bad. As we get older we learn to moderate ourselves because our responsibilities increase. There is a big stepping stone from being a teenager to becoming an adult; we know feel the need to do things by our own which makes us become independent from our families.As this process evolves, the time available for adults to spend in recreation forms is very limited. Work related stress can build up rather quickly which is not a good symptom and as most older folks can tell, stress can have extremely negative effects in your personal life as well as in your health.Today’s most important topic among adults is the presidential election. We hear a lot of news about debates, caucuses, polls and so on, for some this topic is rather irritating so they change the channel from C-span to comedy central, there we can hear the same news but with a different more relaxed approach which falls into comedy. What we are unconsciously doing is shifting the point of view from tense and serious to a more relaxed and funny state. Being able to laugh helps us relieve the work related stress which turns out to be good for our health.Free online games have taken this concepts and applied it to their viral technology. If you do a quick search in Google for free games you will stumble upon several sites which have many categories of entertainment applications, one of them is the Political section, here you can see your favorite presidential candidate dancing to the rhythm of disco music, one must admit that after watching Hillary Clinton dance to funky music we get relaxed and our problems fade away, even if its just for a few seconds.
When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.