The Evolution of Gaming Online
Online gaming is very much a thing of the now, with thousands of games available and millions of players participating. Technological advances have pushed us forward in this area, but this is also due, in no small part to humans’ own way of thinking and need to be accepted. As a rule, people are very social and what better way to interact with other people from around the world than via the online platform. Gaming is an excellent way of meeting people, building relationships, having healthy rivalries and much more. Playing, and of course winning, makes people feel good due to the endorphins that are triggered in the brain. Online gaming also helps those who are more nervous, less confident or who are vulnerable to criticism to create an online persona that they can hide behind and become who they wish they could be. With this aspect in mind there are a vast number of role playing games, first person games and more that all contribute to this area.
When looking at online gaming it is important to see where it all began. The internet didn’t really become the next big thing until the late 1990s. Of course, the internet had been around before that and computer gaming as a general pastime had been available in the home for even longer. However, it was during this time period that one of the most popular forms of online gaming came into be. This was the multiplayer role playing game. These had been performed in many forms for years without the use of the internet – think Dungeons and Dragons, but with the arrival of the internet, these games could have far reaching arms. In 1991, the very first role playing game was developed for the internet. NeverWinter Nights became hugely popular due to its out-of-this-world game play and the fact that players could meet other contenders from around the world. It broke ground and paved the way for the rest of the industry to follow. After this release, more and more computer games started to be created, all using the dial up internet to connect players from all corners of the globe.
After the success of online role playing games, highly popular first person shooters, such as Doom and Quake came in to play. In addition, strategy games were added to the online gaming library, with games such as Conquer and Command being notable favourites. These games were simply opening the doors for what was to come, for if it hadn’t been for these few simpler games, the massive franchises such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft might never have come to be.
Massive multiplayer online role player gaming (MMORPG) have increased in popularity as the ease of accessing them grew. The most popular of these is World of Warcraft, which currently has in excess of 12 million players across the globe. Originally, the profits from these games came from simple subscriptions just to keep them afloat, but these simple fees quickly built up with the arrival of so many enthusiastic players. Now this type of online gaming is possibly the most popular form ever. There are new games being developed all the time to add to this genre of online gaming, though World of Warcraft does seem to maintain a stranglehold on it and also produces a number of upgrades, additions and new areas on a regular basis. With the resurgence of Star Wars and some sci-fi themed games, the online gaming world is attempting to entice even greater numbers of players to its world. In conjunction with this there is also MUD gaming, which also sees players able to create characters and interact with other players through an online portal.
Online Casino Gaming
Online casinos started out as just a very small part of the online gaming world, but they have grown in number and popularity to become rather a large one. For years, the only way players could get to a casino was to physically visit one, something that wasn’t entirely feasible for the vast majority. With the internet and improvements in technology some of the simpler games, such as slot games, began to make the transition to the online world. As technology improved, more casino games could be transitioned to this platform, including virtual versions of table games like roulette, blackjack and poker. These games had, in some form or another, already been available on computers but actually paying money to play them was unheard of. It was until the mid-90s that finally the first online casino was actually formed, this by the company Microgaming. Since then, the online casino industry has made leaps and bounds, helped along by technology’s progress as well. The industry is so popular that online casinos now have to come up with ways in which to keep player interest, such as bonuses and promotions, and find new and innovative games to offer.
From the original inception of online casinos, which were limited to some simple slot games and a few virtual table games, casino games online have grown enormously. Now there are literally thousands of different games available, all in multiple different styles and themes. In addition, casinos are now offering live games which take the world of gaming one step further, though ironically back into the original land-based casinos. These live games feature real people streamed through live cameras that deal the cards whilst players at home interact with them and place their bets. Another huge leap forward is the ability for all these games to now be played on the move. As with other smaller online games, such as the ever-popular Candy Crush, casino games are also making the transition to the mobile device, allowing players to access their games from almost anywhere in the world.
The Next Step
Technology is constantly improving, which is a necessity in this rather short focused era that we live in today. Attention spans cannot be held for too long, so it is important for games to be fast paced, addictive and innovative. With this in mind, the industry is coming up with new ways to immerse players into their games. Virtual Reality is becoming the way forward for all types of gaming, with even casino games being tempted by this new technology. Gamers are now able to enjoy an even greater immersion into the worlds that they love, all whilst sitting comfortably in their own homes. Never has gaming been so easy or so accessible.