Millions of people around the world have adopted a new leisure addiction. Through the generations, when relaxation came to mind people would envision reading. Then in the first half of the twentieth century radio became popular. The second half of course brought the television on the home front. Finally, computers, the Internet, and top video games were the new addiction near the turn of the millenium. While the previous media are still hugely popular, top video games offer new levels of interaction and immersion that the previous media simply cannot compete with. A book can be read multiple times throughout its life, a movie provides two or three hours of enjoyment, and music on the radio are here today and gone tomorrow, but top video games outshine them all by effortlessly immersing players in worlds far beyond our own.
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Multiplayer Games are the Future
Video games became extremely popular in the eighties, but with the technological increase in broadband infrastructure, gamers have become able to play games online for the past decade. Online video games are enormously popular and continue to become more popular than ever before. Single player video games are falling behind. Some games are built entirely around multiplayer, and the single player edition is added on as an afterthought. Some notable single player exceptions are Fallout 3 and Dead Space, but these are becoming the minority.
Increasingly video games are not only including more online features, but those features are the entire foundation of the game. MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games) such as World of WarCraft and Lord of the Rings Online attract millions of people. These games offer thousands of hours of content, way beyond anything seen in a smaller single player game. This abundance of content makes them perfect time sinks, however people genuinely feel they have accomplished something major by playing them. As players are able to interact with one another online as never before in a living, breathing world with consequences that span beyond their actions, video games can now offer a lasting sense of pride and a wonderful sense of accomplishment when they are able to progress as others cannot.
On the emotional side, top video games are more effective than books, songs, and movies at drawing forth deep feelings in players. When players have to work together to save each other from the zombie masses in Left 4 Dead , they bond emotionally to the characters. Success can stir up deep feelings of pride time and again, while defeat can be agonizing. Other forms of media cannot product the emotional investments apparent in the gaming world. Video games are just another media that are used to weave great tales, and at this point in time no one can guess at what the next form of media to grip the industry will be.