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.
The PC gaming world will never fade away due to new innovations in technology and virtual interaction. With the advent of online multiplayer, gamers can compete or work together. Many famous titles offered on consoles originated on the PC. These games run smooth, fast, and with utmost quality on computers that meet recommended hardware requirements.Without meeting these specifications, games will lag, graphics will suffer, and the overall gaming experience will be disappointing. Gaming hardware also adds value to any computer. The machine will be able to last the length of a gaming generation if not longer.The first component that should be analyzed in your PC is the processor. Any processor that is below the Intel Core 2 Duo 2Ghz or the AMD Athlon 64×2 2Ghz will not provide a solid gaming experience. In fact, the aforementioned processors are the minimum requirements for certain top-notch games. For the best gaming experience, PC games require a an Intel Core i5 3.1Ghz or the AMD Phenom II X6. These specifications are high, but certain games also have recommended settings. Any processor between the minimum and maximum requirements will suffice.The next piece of hardware that every computer needs is the RAM. This little chip must be placed in every computer to ensure that games run smoothly. Minimum requirements for RAM are anywhere from 2GB to 3GB. For optimum settings, 4GB of ram is necessary. Typically, games will recommend at 3GB of memory for components in the game to run at moderate settings.The graphics card is your bread and butter for PC gaming. For minimum requirements gamers will need at least an ATI 3850 512 mb or a NVidia 8800 GT 512mb. Optimum settings are of course much higher with cards such as the NVidia GTX 560 Ti and the ATI 6850. Without a decent graphics card, games will not run smoothly and will lag constantly. Gamers will have to adjust their display settings in-game to match their graphics card. This can be avoided by obtaining the recommended graphics requirements.Gamers who play often should also consider purchasing an intercooler for their PC. This fan is necessary if the computer will be on for countless hours. Prices for intercoolers vary but they are crucial for PC games. Intercoolers will prevent the hardware in your computer from overheating when playing for an extended period of time. In the even that a PC overheats, the owner will have to fix costly components; this is avoidable and an intercooler the solution.