An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or another computer network. Online games are ubiquitous on modern gaming platforms, including PCs, consoles and mobile devices, and span many genres, including first-person shooters, strategy games and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).
The design of online games can range from simple text-based environments to the incorporation of complex graphics and virtual worlds. The prominence of online components within a game can range from being minor features, such as an online leaderboard, to being part of core gameplay, such as directly playing against other players. Many online games create their own online communities, while other games, especially social games, integrate the players’ existing real-life communities.
Online game culture sometimes faces criticisms for an environment that might promote cyberbullying, violence, and xenophobia. Some gamers are also concerned about gaming addiction or social stigma. Online games have attracted players from a variety of ages, nationalities, and occupations. Online game content can also be studied in scientific field, especially gamers’ interactions within virtual societies in relation to the behavior and social phenomena of everyday life. It has been argued that, since the players of an online game are strangers to each other and have limited communication, the individual player’s experience in an online game is not essentially different from playing with artificial intelligence players. Online games also have the problem of not being permanently playable, unlike purchased retail games, as they require special servers in order to function.
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