When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.
What can be better than spending an evening around the table with your family? For me, not much! I love Family Game Night, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like it to, but my family tries to schedule at least one per month. It’s a treasured time of togetherness, reconnecting amidst our hectic schedules, as well as a whole lot of laughter and FUN!Here is a list of fifteen family friendly games you’ll want to include in your Family Game Night.1. SORRY. Have a blast chasing each other around the board, trying to get “home.” And no need to feel sorry for sending someone back to start. That’s the name of the game! Recommended for ages 6+.2. ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER? Aha! The perfect way for you to prove to your kids that you ARE just as smart as they are. You’ll love getting those questions right and they’ll love it when you mess up. Recommended for ages 8+.3. MONOPOLY. The world’s most popular board game sometimes also turns out to be the world’s longest. But this classic game is fun, entertaining, and educational. Tired of the original version? Try the Sponge Bob, Speed Die, or Disney version! Recommended for ages 8+.4. CRANIUM’S WHOONU. This game doesn’t actually come with a board but it’s one of my family’s favorites. Played with cards and chips, it gives family members a chance to see how well they know each other. Plus, each round only takes a few minutes so it’s a nice reprieve after an endless game of Monopoly. Recommended for ages 8+.5. CLUE. Okay you mystery lovers, this one’s for you! See if you can figure out who, where and how in this crime solver’s dream game. Also available as a DVD game and in a Junior edition. Recommended for ages 8+.6. A TO Z. This fast-paced word game was named as the 1997 best word game of the year by Games magazine. Race the clock and your opponents as you come up with as many words as you can for pre-selected categories. Recommended for ages 8+.7. SEQUENCE. The ultimate board game and card game, combined. Play with the cards in your hand to make sequences on the board. Super addicting and loads of fun. Recommended for ages 7+.8. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING! Would you rather run across a hungry alligator’s back or underneath an angry elephant? These are the kinds of questions you’ll have to answer in the kids version of Zobmondo’s Would You Rather Game. This is a totally goofy game that will make you think and keep you laughing. Recommended for ages 7+.9. THE GAME OF LIFE. Take a test drive down your life’s road. Earn money, get married, and have kids along the way! Different versions, such as Sponge Bob and Pirates of the Caribbean are also available. Recommended for ages 9+.10. BEAT THE PARENTS. Pit the parents against the kids in this challenging trivia game. Who knows more about the others’ generation? Recommended for ages 8+.FUN is something every home can use more of and hopefully this list of games will help add some fun to your family. But no matter what games you end up playing, the important thing is that you’re spending time together. When you do, everybody wins!