A computer game or in English and colloquial language also called game, is an electronic game that is played on a computer, console or handheld. These games are increasingly available for other systems and computers, such as PDAs, mobile phones, tablets and portable game computers. Many computer games are video games.

“Game” is used here in the broad sense of the word, there are also serious games.

A game can be intended to play individually, and / or to play with one or more others. With multiple players, playing can take turns, or at the same time, or each player can choose separately when they participate, such as a game in which a virtual world is built together.

Many computer games from the late 90s offer the possibility to play online, in particular the shooting games and MMORPGs. Playing online often means that you can play together with other players via an internet connection, but it can also be a website on which computer games are offered (the so-called browser games). Playing offline often plays through a storyline. No internet is required for this, but one must be in possession of the entire game.

If a classic game such as chess is played on a computer, then it also becomes a computer game.

Video game

The name video game is often seen as a synonym for computer game. However, not every computer game is a video game. A video game is a visual computer game and that applies to most games. However, this is not the case with all computer games. Computer games that are not video games include audio or text based computer games and computer games for blind people.

In a video game, the player often controls a character whether or not in a vehicle moving through a virtual environment and performing actions there, responding to what he finds in the virtual environment and what happens. This is shown on the screen from an overview perspective or from the perspective of the character. In the latter case, the game falls under the concept of virtual reality. Control of the viewing direction (whether or not automatically coinciding with the direction of movement) can then be done with a button or lever, but also, when using a head-mounted display, by turning the head.

The word game

The term game (not necessarily computer game) has become commonplace as a synonym for computer game. People who play computer games are called gamers and the game itself is indicated by the verb gaming (substantiated: gaming). If one prefers to play only old (classic) computer games, this is indicated by the verb retro-gaming.

Game development

Games are largely made by software developers other than the hardware manufacturer. This is called third party development. Well-known third-party developers are, for example, Blizzard, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts. The games of these developers are (sometimes) released on multiple systems. Second-party developers (‘second-party developers’) are software companies in which a game company has a large share. Rare was a second-party developer for Nintendo until the acquisition of Microsoft with tehir Xbox. First party developers (‘first-party developers’) are developers of the hardware company itself. For example, the Mario series are made by a first party (Nintendo).

Computer games are developed by teams of people from all kinds of disciplines, mainly graphic designers and programmers, but also, for example, level designers and musicians.

In the early days of computer games, a computer game was often made by a few people who fully developed several aspects of the game themselves. The growing popularity of computer games has ensured that the development is being tackled more and more professionally. For commercial computer games it was therefore no longer possible to have large parts of a game developed by a few people: people had to have more and more skills and techniques to produce a high-quality computer game. Every single aspect of a computer game is nowadays done by people who specialize in it.

Best selling computer games

  • For the PC, the best-selling game is The Sims from Electronic Arts and Maxis.
  • For Wii, this is Wii Sports from Nintendo. The fact that this game was supplied in Europe with the purchase of a Wii system contributed to the success.
  • For the PlayStation 3 this is Grand Theft Auto V and for the Xbox 360 this is Kinect Adventures! from Microsoft.