The term “video games” refers to any computer game designed for use with consoles (or personal computers running Windows) and designed to be played on a regular screen with the use of either a video card, a mouse, or a touch screen. A video game console generally consists of a central processing unit or CPU, a video card to connect to the CPU, memory cards for random access processing (RAS), and controllers to interact with the user’s video gaming experience. Video games are also often packaged with game software that controls all aspects of the game, including graphics and sound.
Video games differ widely according to their theme and the way in which they are marketed and sold. Theme-based video games are generally targeted at a specific audience; this is usually based on a type of platform, a single player game, or a multiplayer game. Modern day themes include action, adventure, sports, puzzle, racing, simulation, horror, and freehand. These categories are not mutually exclusive: many modern games incorporate both theme and genre features. The categories are intended to be used as a framework in which to explore and compare different types of gameplay.
Modern video games generally fall into three broad categories: first-person shooters (FPS), which feature first-person perspective; role-playing ( RPG), which features player-based interaction; and racing, which is a mixture of first-person shooter and real-time motor vehicle racing. The development of new genres and the continued evolution of existing ones provide a wide range of possibilities for future technological trends. New releases will continue to evolve into new categories and platforms, and existing genres will continue to be upgraded and redone. Although the development and release of new video games creates excitement and controversy, much of this excitement is generated by the release of new games that redefine classic genres, such as the introduction of “runner” video games, which are sequels to earlier games that have become successful with audiences.
Many action-adventure games follow realistic story lines and high-end graphic designs. Most modern games feature highly detailed characters and realistic settings. Some of these games also feature well-known celebrities, popular music, famous animation, and other recognizable media elements. Role-playing video games often involve crafting and interacting with a fully-realized world, providing the gamer with an opportunity to become involved with another person’s experience.
A major difference between action-adventures and role-playing games is the focus on problem solving. Action-adventures are more interested in achieving goals through narrative means, whereas role-playing games are more interested in the players interacting with and solving problems within the game’s virtual environment. Action-adventures usually follow plot-lines that rely heavily on technical expertise and scientific knowledge. Action games usually require advanced technical skill and expertise; whereas role-playing games are more oriented towards basic problem-solving skills. Many experts believe that gaming is more geared towards problem solving and social interaction than is first thought.
Adventure games are highly replayable, which allows players to repeat certain sections of the game many times. This is in contrast to most video games that only allow players to choose one option and play through the entire game from that point. In addition, adventure games are generally more challenging, requiring players to think critically and creatively to solve puzzles, complete challenges, and complete quests. Another advantage of adventure games is that players can return to previous levels as many times as they like, increasing the possibility for repeat play and exploration. This type of play style is also found in MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games).