Games are generally defined as a systematic set of action, usually undertaken for recreation or fun, and at times used as a form of social learning. Games are distinctly different from work, which typically is performed for remuneration, or from literature, which is primarily an expression of personal or aesthetic elements. Both leisure activities and games are subject to cultural and political influences. The increasing complexity of human society and the increasingly sophisticated means by which people interact have both contributed to the expanding definition of what games are.
Popular computer games have an influence on the children’s playing patterns of today. Computer games in their most basic forms have been designed to give users a sense of achievement, as well as challenge and perseverance. The games that are developed by large corporations such as Microsoft have a very clear goal in mind: to entertain and bring into focus the skills and capabilities of the users. The corporate game developers use very sophisticated technology, along with advanced computer animation, sound effects, texturing and shading, and a variety of camera features, to create the most realistic and thrilling virtual environments. Most games, if not all, offer a wide selection of weapons, vehicles, flying creatures and other such items, making it possible for the players to wage war against each other using any number of military hardware at their disposal. The ultimate aim is to achieve a top score, by beating the other players, who try to reach the lowest score limit.
Computer games are very popular among a section of the population that considers itself “entertainable”. They occupy a central place in the leisure time of most people. Most children are attracted to games that are easy to understand and simple to play. Another group of people, who constitute a major chunk of the population, consider games to be part of the family fun time. The popularity of games has also led to a parallel growth in the production and sales of computer games. Computer games form an important sector of the global market.
Computer games can be classified into two main categories, namely, adventure and puzzle. Adventure computer games are generally designed as video-games, in which the player is put in the role of some sort of protagonist, saving the world or solving a puzzle while going through some interesting and exotic locales. Examples of this type of game are Abalone and the Classic Lemonade Tycoon. Puzzle computer games, on the other hand, are designed to test the player’s logic and critical thinking.
Online games are also quite popular, with more numbers getting attracted to the World Wide Web every day. They are virtual games played over the Internet between real players from around the globe. An online game console such as the Sony PlayStation or Nintendo DS requires no hardware to play them, while computer games require special software to run.
Computer games can be classified into free and paid forms. The first kind, the freeware, are usually simple, game modes including one or few levels. They are called “light” because they do not require any purchases or subscriptions, while the paid games are developed using in-house programming systems. The paid games are more often produced by large game companies, such as the Eidos Interactive, who publishes both standard and premium versions of their titles. In addition, certain mobile phone manufacturers have developed specialized game consoles that run on a variety of mobile handsets.