A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or over the internet. Multiplayer games usually require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance; players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
Cooperative gameplay is a feature in video games that allows players to work together as teammates, usually against one or more AI opponents. It is distinct from other multiplayer modes, such as competitive multiplayer modes like player versus player or deathmatch. Playing simultaneously allows players to assist one another in many ways: passing weapons or items, healing, providing covering fire in a firefight, and performing cooperative maneuvers such as boosting a teammate up and over obstacles.
A gamemaster is a person who acts as an organizer, officiant for regarding rules, arbitrator, and moderator for a multiplayer role-playing game. They are more common in co-operative games in which players work together than in competitive games in which players oppose each other. The act performed by a gamemaster is sometimes referred to as "Gamemastering" or simply "GM-ing".
During its early history, video games were often single-player-only activities, putting the player against pre-programmed challenges or AI-controlled opponents, which lack the flexibility of human thought.
A single-player video game is a video game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session. A single-player game is usually a game that can only be played by one person, while "single-player mode" is usually a game mode designed to be played by a single-player, though the game also contains multi-player modes.
A non-player character (NPC), also known as a non-playable character, is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence. In traditional tabletop role-playing games, the term applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player.
Asynchronous multiplayer is a form of multiplayer gameplay where players do not have to be playing at the same time.
Some of the earliest video games were two-player games, including early sports games (such as 1958's Tennis For Two and 1972's Pong ), early shooter games such as Spacewar! (1962)and early racing video games such as Astro Race (1973). The first examples of multiplayer real-time games were developed on the PLATO system about 1973. Multi-user games developed on this system included 1973's Empire and 1974's Spasim; the latter was an early first-person shooter. Other early video games included turn-based multiplayer modes, popular in tabletop arcade machines. In such games, play is alternated at some point (often after the loss of a life). All players' scores are often displayed onscreen so players can see their relative standing.
A sports game is a video game genre that simulates the practice of sports. Most sports have been recreated with a game, including team sports, track and field, extreme sports and combat sports. Some games emphasize actually playing the sport, whilst others emphasize strategy and sport management. Some, such as Need for Speed, Arch Rivals and Punch-Out!!, satirize the sport for comic effect. This genre has been popular throughout the history of video games and is competitive, just like real-world sports. A number of game series feature the names and characteristics of real teams and players, and are updated annually to reflect real-world changes. Sports genre is one of the oldest genres in gaming history.
Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games. It is a table tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. The game was originally manufactured by Atari, which released it in 1972. Allan Alcorn created Pong as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey; Magnavox later sued Atari for patent infringement. Bushnell and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney were surprised by the quality of Alcorn's work and decided to manufacture the game.
Shooter games are a subgenre of action video game, which often test the player's speed and reaction time. It includes many subgenres that have the commonality of focusing on the actions of the avatar using some sort of weapons. Usually this weapon is a gun or some other long-range weapon. A common resource found in many shooter games is ammunition. Most commonly, the purpose of a shooter game is to shoot opponents and proceed through missions without the player character being killed or dying. A shooting game is a genre of video game where the player has limited spatial control of his or her character, and the focus is almost entirely on the defeat of the character's enemies using weaponry.
Gauntlet (1985) and Quartet (1986) introduced co-operative 4-player gaming to the arcades. The games had broader consoles to allow for four sets of controls.
Gauntlet is a fantasy-themed hack and slash 1985 arcade game by Atari Games. It is noted as being one of the first multi-player dungeon crawl arcade games. The core design of Gauntlet comes from Dandy, a 1983 Atari 8-bit family title, which resulted in a lawsuit.
Quartet is a 1986 arcade game by Sega. Quartet allows one to four players to guide a set of characters through a base taken over by an army of robots. Players control either Joe (yellow), Mary (red), Lee (blue) or Edgar (green) across a number of sideways-scrolling levels. The object of the game is to advance through the level, fighting opponents that come out of portals in the walls, and eventually defeat a boss that carries the door key used to open the "exit door" for the level.
The first large-scale serial sessions using a single computer[ citation needed ] were STAR (based on Star Trek ), OCEAN (a battle using ships, submarines and helicopters, with players divided between two combating cities) and 1975's CAVE (based on Dungeons and Dragons), created by Christopher Caldwell (with art work and suggestions by Roger Long and assembly coding by Robert Kenney) on the University of New Hampshire's DECsystem-1090. The university's computer system had hundreds of terminals, connected (via serial lines) through cluster PDP-11s for student, teacher and staff access. The games had a program running on each terminal (for each player), sharing a segment of shared memory (known as the "high segment" in the OS TOPS-10). The games became popular, and the university often banned them because of their RAM use. STAR was based on 1974's single-user, turn-oriented BASIC program STAR, written by Michael O'Shaughnessy at UNH.
Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry that follows the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and its crew. It later acquired the retronym of Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) to distinguish the show within the media franchise that it began.
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is a public research university with its main campus in Durham, New Hampshire. It was founded and incorporated in 1866 as a land grant college in Hanover in connection with Dartmouth College. In 1893, UNH moved to Durham.
Ken Wasserman and Tim Stryker in a 1980 BYTE article identified three factors which make networked computer games appealing:
Wasserman and Stryker described how to network two Commodore PET computers with a cable, which included a type-in, two-player Hangman and described the authors' more-sophisticated Flash Attack. [ by whom? ] to universities with DECsystem-10s. In 1981 Cliff Zimmerman wrote an homage to Star Trek in MACRO-10 for DECsystem-10s and -20s using VT100-series graphics. "VTtrek" pitted four Federation players against four Klingons in a three-dimensional universe.Digital Equipment Corporation distributed another multi-user version of Star Trek, Decwar, without real-time screen updating; it was widely distributed
Flight Simulator II , released in 1986 for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, allowed two players to connect via modem or serial cable and fly together in a shared environment.
MIDI Maze , an early first-person shooter released in 1987 for the Atari ST, featured network multiplay through a MIDI interface before Ethernet and Internet play became common. It is considered[ by whom? ] the first multiplayer 3D shooter on a mainstream system, and the first network multiplayer action-game (with support for up to 16 players). There followed ports to a number of platforms (including Game Boy and Super NES) in 1991 under the title Faceball 2000, making it one of the first handheld, multi-platform first-person shooters and an early console example of the genre.
Networked multiplayer gaming modes are known as "netplay". The first popular video-game title with a Local Area Network(LAN) version, 1991's Spectre for the Apple Macintosh, featured AppleTalk support for up to eight players. Spectre's popularity was partially attributed[ by whom? ] to the display of a player's name above their cybertank. There followed 1993's Doom, whose first network version allowed four simultaneous players.
Networked multiplayer LAN games eliminate common Internet problems such as lag and anonymity, and are the focus of LAN parties. Play-by-email multiplayer games use email to communicate between computers. Other turn-based variations not requiring players to be online simultaneously are Play-by-post gaming and Play-by-Internet. Some online games are "massively multiplayer", with a large number of players participating simultaneously. Two massively-multiplayer genres are MMORPG (such as World of Warcraft or EverQuest ) and MMORTS.
Some networked multiplayer games, including MUDs and massively multiplayer online games(MMOG) such as RuneScape, omit a single-player mode. First-person shooters have become popular multiplayer games; Battlefield 1942 and Counter-Strike have little (or no) single-player gameplay. Developer and gaming site OMGPOP's library includes multiplayer Flash games for the casual player. The world's largest MMOG is South Korea's Lineage, with 19 million registered players (primarily in Asia). The largest Western MMOG in 2008 was World of Warcraft, with over 10 million registered players worldwide. This category of games requires multiple machines to connect via the Internet; before the Internet became popular, MUDs were played on time-sharing computer systems and games like Doom were played on a LAN.
Gamers refer to latency using the term "ping", after a utility which measures round-trip network communication delays (by the use of ICMP packets). A player on a DSL connection with a 50-ms ping can react faster than a modem user with a 350-ms average latency. Other problems include packet loss and choke, which can prevent a player from "registering" their actions with a server. In first-person shooters, this problem appears when bullets hit the enemy without damage. The player's connection is not the only factor; some servers are slower than others.
Beginning with the Sega NetLink in 1996, Game.com in 1997 and Dreamcast in 2000, game consoles support network gaming over LANs and the Internet. Many mobile phones and handheld consoles also offer wireless gaming with Bluetooth (or similar) technology. By the early 2010s online gaming had become a mainstay of console platforms such as Xbox and PlayStation.[ citation needed ]
In modern console, arcade and personal computer games, "multiplayer" implies play with several controllers plugged into one game system. Home-console games often use split screen, so each player has an individual view of the action (important in first-person shooters and in racing video games); most arcade games, and some console games (since Pong), do not. Nearly all multiplayer modes on beat 'em up games have a single-system option, but racing games have started to abandon split screen in favor of a multiple-system, multiplayer mode. Turn-based games such as chess also lend themselves to single system single screen and even to a single controller.
The term "local co-op" refers to local multiplayer games played in a cooperative manner on the same system; these may use split-screen or some other display method.
Hotseat games are typically turn-based games with only one controller or input set - such as a single keyboard/mouse on the system. Players rotate using the input device to perform their turn such that each is taking a turn on the "hotseat".
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An asymmetric video game is a type of multiplayer video game in which players may play on in an unbalanced way. In "soft asymmetry" games the players have the same basic mechanics such as movement and death, yet all have different roles. In "strong asymmetry" games typically have one team that are practically the same or in soft asymmetric roles while the other team features players that play in a drastically different way.
Online cheating (in gaming) usually refers to modifying the game experience to give one player an advantage over others.This is also known as "hacking" or "glitching". Cheating in video games is often done via a third party program which modifies the game's code at runtime to give one or more players an advantage. In other situations, it is frequently done by changing the games files to change the game's mechanics.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.
A LAN party is a gathering of people with computers or compatible game consoles, where a local area network (LAN) connection is established between the devices using a router or switch, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer video games together. The size of these networks may vary from as few as two people, to very large gatherings of a hundred or more. Small parties can form spontaneously and take advantage of common household networking equipment, but larger ones typically require more planning, equipment, and preparation.
A massively multiplayer online game is an online game with large numbers of players, typically from hundreds to thousands, on the same server. MMOs usually feature a huge, persistent open world, although some games differ. These games can be found for most network-capable platforms, including the personal computer, video game console, or smartphones and other mobile devices.
In computer and video gaming, a clan, community, guild or faction is an organized group of players that regularly play together in one or more multiplayer games, but is focused on a particular game. These games range from groups of a few friends to 4000-person organizations, with a broad range of structures, goals and members. The lifespan of a clan also varies considerably, from a few weeks to over a decade. Numerous clans exist for nearly every online game available today, notably in first-person shooters, massively multiplayer games, role-playing video games, and strategy games. There are also meta-groups that span a wide variety of games. Some clans formed by groups of players have grown into multi-million dollar professional esports teams.
TimeSplitters 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Free Radical Design and published by Eidos Interactive for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox game consoles. It is the second game in the TimeSplitters series, and a sequel to the original TimeSplitters.
Cheating in online games is defined as the action of pretending to comply with the rules of the game, while secretly subverting them to gain an unfair advantage over an opponent. Depending on the game, different activities constitute cheating and it is either a matter of game policy or consensus opinion as to whether a particular activity is considered to be cheating.
An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or any other computer network available. 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).
Maze War is a 1973 computer game which originated or disseminated a number of concepts used in thousands of games to follow, and is considered one of the earliest examples of, or progenitor of, a first-person shooter. Uncertainty exists over its exact release date, with some accounts placing it before Spasim, the earliest first-person shooter with a known time of publication.
In some video games, noclip mode is a cheat command that prevents the first-person player character camera from being obstructed by other objects and permits the camera to move in any direction, allowing it to pass through such things as walls, props, and other players.
A split screen is a display technique in computer graphics that consists of dividing graphics and/or text into non-movable adjacent parts, typically two or four rectangular areas. This is done in order to allow the simultaneous presentation of (usually) related graphical and textual information on a computer display. Split screen differs from windowing systems in that the latter allows overlapping and freely movable parts of the screen to present related as well as unrelated application data to the user, while the former conforms more strictly to the description given in the paragraph above.
In video games, a bot is a type of AI expert system software that plays a video game in the place of a human. Bots are used in a variety of video game genres for a variety of tasks: a bot written for a first-person shooter (FPS) works very differently from one written for a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). The former may include analysis of the map and even basic strategy; the latter may be used to automate a repetitive and tedious task like farming.
XLink Kai is a method developed by Team-XLink for online play of video games with support for LAN multiplayer modes. It enables players on the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One to play games across the Internet using a network configuration that simulates a local area network (LAN). It notably also allows original Xbox games to be played online again following the Xbox Live shutdown on April 21, 2010 and certain GameSpy titles such as Saints Row 2 to be played online after the GameSpy network shutdown on May 31, 2014.
Video game culture is a worldwide new media subculture formed by video games. As computer and video games have exponentially increased in popularity over time, they have had a significant influence on popular culture. Video game culture has also evolved over time hand in hand with internet culture as well as the increasing popularity of mobile games. Many people who play video games identify as gamers, which can mean anything from someone who enjoys games to someone who is passionate about it. As video games become more social with multiplayer and online capability, gamers find themselves in growing social networks. Gaming can both be entertainment as well as competition, as a new trend known as electronic sports is becoming more widely accepted. Today, video games can be seen in social media, politics, television, film, music and YouTube.
System Link is a form of offline multiplayer gaming on the Xbox and Xbox 360 gaming console over a LAN. A network switch and standard straight-through Ethernet cables may be used to link multiple consoles together, or two consoles can be connected directly. Connecting two Xbox consoles to each other without a switch requires a crossover cable, while Xbox 360 consoles can use standard cables.
Cheating in video games involves a video game player using non-standard methods to create an advantage or disadvantage beyond normal gameplay, in order to make the game easier or harder. Cheats may be activated from within the game itself, or created by third-party software or hardware. They can also be realized by exploiting software bugs; this may or may not be considered cheating based on whether the bug is considered common knowledge.
Online games are video games played over a computer network. The evolution of these games parallels the evolution of computers and computer networking, with new technologies improving the essential functionality needed for playing video games on a remote server. Many video games have an online component, allowing players to play against or cooperatively with players across a network around the world.
First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre centered around gun and other weapon-based combat in a first-person perspective; that is, the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist. The genre shares common traits with other shooter games, which in turn makes it fall under the heading action game. Since the genre's inception, advanced 3D and pseudo-3D graphics have challenged hardware development, and multiplayer gaming has been integral.
This list includes terms used in video games and the video game industry, as well as slang used by players.
There have been multiplayer electronic games since the dawn of computing. Space War!, the first real videogame, programmed by Steve Russell on the PDP-1, was an exclusive two-player game. So was Nolan Bushnell's pioneering coin-op Pong.