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Internet gaming took off only after first person shooters came into vogue. Games such as Quake could be played over the internet (or any other network) & this increased the popularity of these games as well as other online multiplayer games. Multiplayer capability is now the norm in all FPS & RTS games. Online gaming also includes a genre called simply ’Internet Games ’.

Action Games
As the name suggests, action games have everything to do with fighting, guns, killing bad guys & saving the world. Action also happens to be the most well-known of all genres and the most controversial at the same time. While gamers & developers go gaga over the latest action games, they also come in for a lot of flak from the media for promoting violence.
The action genre has many sub-genres. A few of them are:
a) FPS: Probably the most famous of all genres. FPS stands for First Person Shooter. It places you in the boots of the main character of the game. And only lets you see the game from his point of view. This gives you the feeling of actually being in the game. The FPS genre can be further sub-divided into the following:
1. Stealth: These games are based on the ability to sneak around without being seen by opponents. They are different from traditional FPSes because they place more emphasis on sneaking around rather than on an all-guns-blazing approach.
2. Old School: These feature the run-and-gun type of game play. Action in such games is fast paced, with tons of enemies.
3. Tactical: These games place emphasis on tactics, strategy & teamwork. In many ways, these are the exact opposite of the run-and-gun type of games.
4. Military/War: These are military games, based on the art of war. Examples are- The Medal Of Honour series and Call of Duty. As the player, you are placed in various war missions, which may not enable you to single-handedly save the world, but are nonetheless important in the ultimate outcome of the war.
5. Survival Horror: These is a relatively new sub-genre in FPS gaming. Here, the player is placed in a scary situation. Usually involving ghosts or monsters; the sole objective of the game is survival. Naturally, the basic game play consists of running and gunning, but puzzle-solving elements are also usually built into the game.
b) TPS: TPS stands for Third-Person shooter. Games in this category are similar to FPSes in most aspects, except that instead of giving you a first person view, it places you ‘outside’ the body of your character.
c) Platform: This genre consists of games where the player has to move around on, or jump to and from, a number of platforms. At the same time, one also has to fight enemies and collect objects to successfully complete the game.
Strategy
Strategy games place the spotlight on the player’s thinking & decision-making abilities. That’s why some people call strategy games “the thinking man’s game”.
The strategy genre can be further sub-divided into:
a) Puzzle: Puzzle games involve solving puzzles, which could involve logic, pattern recognition, and strategy. These games are extremely popular because of their simplicity and ease of use. Tetris, Minesweeper and Solitaire are examples of puzzle games.
b) RPG: RPG stands for Role-Playing Game. They generally involve long, intricate plots with an emphasis on character development. As the game progresses, the characters gain various abilities & can achieve feats. The gamer has to choose which feats to acquire so as to complete the game.
c) Real-time Strategy Games: As the name implies, the action in such games takes place in real-time—that is, the state of the game is constantly changing. Hence the player has to always be on his toes and keep modifying his strategy to match changing environments. These are known as RTS games In short, and have become extremely popular today.
d) Board Games: Board games are simply digitized versions of classic board games. Games such as backgammon, chess, and checkers have all been made for computers, as you’re probably aware.
e) Sims: ‘Sim’ is short for ‘simulator’. Sims are simulator games that usually put their focus on strategy.
Adventure
Adventure games are characterized by exploration, puzzle solving character interaction & emphasis on narrative. Games belonging in this genre have fantasy, horror, mystery as well as comic elements in them.
The standard adventure games died out when 2D was replaced by 3D. Today, most adventure games are a mix of a number of genres. For examples, Prince Of Persia: the sands of time is a mix of action & adventure elements, with a third person view.
There are exceptions, though. Games such as Myst continued to be popular even in the 3D era. But the fact remains that adventure games are no longer major players in the gaming industry.
Simulators
Simulators are games that focus on accurately recreating a real life situation in as possible. Realism is the most important factor here, with every attempt made to make the game as true to real life as the software and hardware can allow. The craze for realism has been taken to incredible levels today, with some games to realistic that they can be used to train professionals in their respective fields! This genre is sub divided into:
a) Flight Simulators: Flight simulators, obviously, try and re-create aircraft and their controls. They attempt to copy the controls found on an aircraft-commercial or otherwise-as well as the difficulty in actually flying one. Microsoft Flight Simulator is an excellent example.
b) Racing Simulators: Racing simulators are based on accurately re-creating racing environments. This category includes not only car races, but virtually any kind of race, take boating, for instance. The most popular games in the sub-genre are naturally of the car racing variety, with games based on F1 and rallying among the most popular.
c) Combat Simulators: These take the realistic elements of simulators & adapt them into a combat style game. Here, defeating your opponent in the ultimate objective, but it can only be done if you have a good knowledge of how to operate the machinery the gamer is given, in realistic condition.
d) Sports Simulators: The objective here is very simple- to recreate the playing condition of a particular sport in the most realistic way. Of course, that’s easier than done! Sports simulators tend to be the most difficult to make, with a lot of effort going in to make them realistic, without making them confusing or unwieldy for the gamer.
MMOG

MMOG stands for massively multiplayer online game. Online gaming has really taken of at present, with broadband internet becoming a reality for a large number of people. Not only do we have the (usually online) games where a few players take on each other, we now have MMOGs, where thousands player can be online simultaneously in a simulated environment.
The most popular MMOG are::
a) MMORPGs: MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) are the most popular types of MMOGs. They follow the client server model, where the gamers running the client’s software is represented in the online world they inhabit via an avatar. The online world is hosted on a server that is usually owned and by the game’s publishers. The most popular MMORPGs are Ever Quest-II, World of War Craft, The Matrix Online, and Star War Galaxies. India, too, has been bitten by the MMORPG bug with Ragnarok being popular among Indian gamers.
b) MMOFPS: this is a massively multiplayer version of the traditional FPS. Although the idea of having thousands of gamers online in an FPS game sounds enticing, it has proven to be difficult to it into practice. One major problem has been the fact that, by the very nature, the games require fast reaction times; thus, hosting a server in a centralized location means increasing lag times for gamers around the world, there by rendering the game unplayable.
c) MMORTS: The third & probably least popular category of MMOGs is the MMORTS, where RTS stands for Real Time Strategy. Once again, it incorporates the offline elements of a regular RTS & adapts them for online play with thousands of gamers.

MOBILE GAMES:

Mobile Games are the latest developments who have occurred in the digital world. Ever since mobile phones could do more than just phone calls, mobile have taken off. The industry has seen a boom ever since the advent of GPRS, with its ability to transfer large amount data wirelessly. The games focus more on the game play, and developers try to make the games fun and addictive enough to entice customers. With the games priced any where between Rs 15 & Rs 150, the game developers & network providers are laughing all the way to banks!
THE FUTURE OF GAMING:
The advancement in computer technology and console gaming has revitalized the entire gaming experience. Newer technologies are pushing the boundaries of our gaming experience. We take a look at what the future has inn store for the hardcore gaming enthusiast.
Gaming, as an industry, has travelled a long way in a very short period. And in the two decades that games have been developed on a really commercial scale, PC and console gamings have been the favored areas for further development.
Just a few years ago, no one thought a physics simulation chipset was a viable proposition. Storage technologies such as Blue-Ray and HD_DVD were just on the drawing board. The only dictum that held true was Moore’s Law, and if that continues to hold true, in less than a decade we will be using gaming rigs that run at speeds of over 50 gigs.
Is the present scenario a situation from which we can predict the gaming technologies of tomorrow-considering the leaps that technology takes, particularly in areas such as graphics and display technology? Perhaps, let’s take a look at technologies that have run as by, and the newer ones on the threshold, and thus gauge where the gaming industry to headed, we have started with the more feasible and down-to-earth, and then embarked on flights of fancy!

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