A computer or video game console is an interactive computer game that entails interaction with a user interface (a hardware device, like a joystick, mouse, or keypad) or a digital output device, including a video screen, graphics card, sound card, video display processor, or other optical media card. Video games may be single player and/or multi-player in which the player interacts with a computer or game system over a network such as the Internet. Some games are text-based and require the player’s input while playing. Others are game systems that may be plugged into a personal computer or personal media player. In the case of video games, a player controls the game through a combination of hardware and software.
Popular types of computer and video games include first person shooters (FPS) and multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). FPSs usually utilize ray tracing to produce moving images. They are more popular with computer gaming enthusiasts than the mainstream gaming population. FPSs often use sophisticated graphics cards to create high quality effects and realistic backgrounds.
MMORPGs or massively multi-player online role-playing games use a persistent virtual environment in which players take an active part in the game world by interacting with other players through a chat room or Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Players can enter this virtual world by connecting to the Internet through a computer or Internet connection. A variety of communication tools, such as chat rooms, portals, and servers enable players to communicate and develop relationships within the virtual world.
The popularity of both FPS video games and MMORPGs are increasing. Computer and video games have a significant impact on the way people think, feel, and behave. Many people cannot function effectively without consuming a few hours of play each week. Most adults attribute their success in life to their regular exposure to video games and computer games.
With computers and video games becoming increasingly more popular, it is becoming increasingly important for parents to educate themselves about the effect that gaming has on the way children learn, interact, and process information. Many companies offer video games as gifts to children. When the games are purchased, parents should monitor the child’s interaction with the machine and make sure they are receiving age-appropriate entertainment for their age. Some parents are wary about buying video games as gifts because they do not believe that gaming will provide meaningful socialization for their children. However, research shows that many children develop strong connections with their computer when they become familiar with video games. A good video game can teach children about cooperation and problem solving; it can also teach them valuable life skills such as patience, impulse control, and impulse control.
Research has also shown that gaming does have beneficial effects on cognitive development. Children who spend a lot of time playing video games tend to score higher on the mathematics and reading tests, and they tend to be less lonely and unsatisfied with their social relationships. Gaming has even been shown to have positive effects on teens. Playing video games has been shown to reduce the rate at which adolescents become involved in serious delinquent behavior. Perhaps most significantly, gaming seems to increase a teen’s attention span and improve his or her self-confidence.