Online gaming has become one of the most popular past-times in the world. While most online games refer to games played over the Internet, online games simply refers to any game that is played over some form of computer network. Hence, games, such as Halo, that use a modem to connect to a network are also referred to as online games.
Online games can be split into multiple categories including: browser games, cross-platform online play, and massively multiplayer online games. Browser games are often referred to as “Java Games” or “Flash Games” because they do not normally require software not already included on most internet browsers. Some examples of browser games include Pac-man, Chess, word games, and simple puzzle games. Often these are the games that are offered “free” by web sites. Massively multiplayer online games can host hundreds or even thousands of players at a time and can be separated into various genres including role-playing games, real-time strategy, and first-person shooter. First-person shooter games involve the “death-match” scenario in which multiple players battle head to head with variable weapons. Massively multiplayer games can be either custom-client MMORPGs or browser-based MMORPGs. Custom client requires downloading additional software which often allows for better graphics than browser-based MMORPGS.
When purchasing any online game, certain precautions should always be taken. The most important thing to take into account is whether or not the site that you wish to purchase or download a game from is reliable. Often downloading from little known sites makes the customer more susceptible to viruses that may affect the computer. Another concern in choosing which games to buy is the level of protection that the website or server provides. Many online games, such as World of Warcraft, have been criticized as being vulnerable to online criminal attacks such as hacking into and stealing someone’s account and personal information.
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