A game that is played through a computer network is referred to as being online. Games have always used whatever technology, including modems before the Internet and hard-wired terminals before modems. This nearly always refers to the Internet or similar technology. The growth of online gaming has been mirrored by the overall development of computer networks, from local networks to the Internet and the extension of Internet access. Online games range from straightforward text-based games to those with intricate graphics and multiplayer virtual worlds. Online games are becoming social activities that go beyond single-player games because many of them have connected online communities.
Games with first-person shooting
Online games began to transition during the 1990s from a wide range of LAN protocols (such as IPX) to the Internet utilizing the TCP/IP protocol. Deathmatch, a brand-new online game genre in which numerous players engage in head-to-head combat, gained popularity thanks to Doom. Since the release of Doom, many first-person shooter games have included internet features that enable deathmatch or arena-style gaming.
Games with real-time strategy
A modem or local network was frequently used for multiplayer play in early real-time strategy games. The software was created to enable players to tunnel the LAN protocols used by the games over the Internet when the Internet began to take off in the 1990s. By the late 1990s, most RTS games offered built-in Internet compatibility, enabling online multiplayer gameplay between users worldwide. Services were developed to match gamers with other players who wanted to play automatically, or lobbies were established where people could gather in “game rooms.” One such instance was the MSN Gaming Zone, where active players created online game communities for games like Age of Empires and Microsoft Ants.
Multi-platform online gaming
Online gaming is growing as consoles become more computer-like. Open source networks like the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox took advantage of online capability with its PC game equivalent once online games began to overtake the market. Private servers for several consoles are available in games like Phantasy Star Online. Players from Dreamcast, PC, Macintosh, and GameCube can access the same server. Older titles with a similar feature include 4×4 Evolution, Quake III, and Need for Speed: Underground, which allow consoles and PC gamers to communicate using the same server. Typically, until the servers become dormant, a business like Electronic Arts or Sega manages them. After then, private servers with their DNS number might start to operate. This type of open source networking has a slight edge over the latest Sony and Microsoft consoles, which allow users to configure their servers.