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.
Numbers, usually you either love them or hate them, which side you come down on depends on the experiences that you had during your school and classroom days. Looking at the top numbers games available online will change your view of numbers and you will find that they can be fun.Most numbers games are usually based on simple arithmetic, but often against a timer to make sure that your grey matter is working well. The game ‘Numbers’ for instance gives you a target number on the right hand side, then all you have to do is click on the numbers on the board that add up to it. Sounds simple, but panic can set in when the clock is ticking.Did you know, that as well as being fun it has been proven that playing logic and numbers puzzles helps to keep the brain active no matter how old or young you are. Along this theme, Sudoku took the world by storm a few years ago when it became well known amongst much of the western world. It is has been said “The number placement game so addictive that it has caused people to miss their train stops”.Another variety of the number game is called ‘Arith 24′, you take the face value of playing cards, and by multiplying, adding or dividing them by each other you have to get them to add up to the value of the target card, not too dissimilar to countdown in games logic, except with playing cards. This one is also good if you play card games regularly.Number guessing is one of the top games that requires no number skills at all. You are presented with a board of numbers from 1 to 99 and by a series of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers the game guesses the number that you have selected, which is impressive and works as long as you don’t cheat and change your number halfway through. You can also read about how it works, but it might spoil the fun!If problem solving is your thing (and some people really enjoy a challenge) Why not try Combination Lock, you have to find out the numbers that open the padlock in this game that could have you scratching your head. You figure out the combination by using the number clues the game gives, it works through a process of elimination, and should you find it easy you can get the game to crank up harder puzzles.The popularity of number games is here to stay, this is a good thing as it has been clinically proven that playing these games keeps you mentally fit. They should be looked upon as the exercise equipment in the Brain Gym!