What is gaming? – TechTarget Definition (2023)

What is gaming?

Gaming is playing an electronic video game, which is often done on a dedicated gaming console, PC or smartphone. People who often play video games are called gamers.

How popular is gaming?

Gaming is an extremely popular activity worldwide. The number of people who play games is estimated to be over 3 billion. Some estimates put the worldwide gaming market value between $180 billion and $220 billion in 2022. This is about double the market for the global film industry. The majority of the gaming market is people playing games on their smartphones.

What are the origins of gaming?

The word gaming originated in the 15th century to refer to gambling in dice or card games. Gaming was used to refer to gambling until the late 1900s, where it was applied to playing recreational board games and pen-and-paper role-playing games. With the introduction of video games in the 1970s, the term gaming became more associated with its current use.

Types of gaming

What are casual, hardcore and professional gaming?

Gamers are often ordered into several groups, depending on how often and how involved they are with gaming.

A casual gamer is someone who irregularly plays games or who only plays a single low-intensity game. An example casual gamer would be someone who plays word or puzzle games on their smartphone while on public transportation or at home while watching TV. Casual gaming is the largest portion of the gaming market due to its wide appeal and the ease of access provided by smartphones. A casual gamer would often not self-identify as a gamer.

A hardcore gamer is someone who regularly plays video games. They usually own dedicated video game devices, such as consoles or gaming PCs. A hardcore gamer often plays many games but focuses on one game or type of game they particularly enjoy. A hardcore gamer usually self-identifies as a gamer.

A professional gamer is someone who makes money or supports themselves by playing games. Some are e-sports athletes who play video games at a professional level in tournaments. They may be part of a team, or clan, and play in broadcasted events. They may make money from tournament prize pools and from corporate sponsorships. They usually focus on only a single game. Another type of professional gamer is a streamer. A streamer makes money by posting video of them playing games. These videos are often done live and put on Twitch or YouTube. They make money from viewer donations, sponsorships and ad revenue.

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While these are the traditionally accepted categories of gamers, there is no definitive way to classify all gamers, and these categories are skewed toward traditional gaming culture. For example, a retired woman who plays a farming or Sudoku game on her iPad for many hours a day would be considered by many people a casual gamer, although she probably plays video games for more hours a month than a traditional hardcore gamer.

What is gaming? – TechTarget Definition (1)

Single player vs. multiplayer vs. massively multiplayer online gaming

Video games can be played alone or with others. With the internet now widely available, playing games with other people is now extremely popular.

Single-player games are games that are played alone. These types of games traditionally tell a narrative and take the player on an adventure or through a story. They often present a series of challenges that get progressively harder. These are self-contained experiences and are paid for upfront at purchase. Most games have a single-player campaign but may also include a multiplayer component.

Multiplayer games are games that are played with a small group. Typically, they have between two and 100 players at a time. They usually take the form of one person or team against the other in matches. They are designed to be played competitively, and there is no story between the matches. Multiplayer games can be played locally with people in the same room or over the internet. Multiplayer games may be paid for at once in a purchase or be free to play (F2P) and have microtransactions to buy small items to fund the game. Some games have a cooperative mode where two or more players work together to overcome a challenge instead of against each other.

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are games where thousands of players inhabit the same game world at one time. These are persistent worlds where players can interact and play together. These games are often paid for in a monthly subscription.

What is gaming? – TechTarget Definition (2)

Console vs. PC vs. mobile gaming

Gaming is usually played on three kinds of platforms: a video game console, PC or mobile device. All can be played by people individually or with multiple players locally or over the internet.

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A video game console is a dedicated device to play video games. The console is commonly connected to a TV, and the player uses a controller to interact with the game. The major consoles are Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Switch. Games and accessories do not work between console manufacturers. If a game is only released for one console, it is called an exclusive; if the game is available for more than one, it is called a multiplatform game.

PCs can be used to play video games. Gaming PCs are computers designed to optimize for video game performance. These often use fast processors and powerful graphics processing units. The biggest platform for distributing games on a PC is Valve's Steam client, which is a single program where a player can buy, download and play a game, as well as interact with other players and set up multiplayer games. Other popular game stores on PC are the Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store. With the open nature of the PC platform, games can be bought and installed from many places, with many being distributed for free.

Mobile devices, such as an iPhone or Android phone, can be used for gaming as well. These games are often simpler in nature compared to console and PC gaming and are lower cost or even free, supporting themselves through microtransactions or ad revenue. Despite this, mobile gaming is now the largest sector of the gaming marked by both player count and revenue.

What is gaming? – TechTarget Definition (3)

Future gaming trends

Cloud gaming is where the gaming software is not run on a device owned by the player. Instead, the game application is run on a cloud server. The player input is sent to the server, and game video is streamed back to the user. Cloud gaming is becoming popular because, as games become more realistic, they require more powerful and expensive hardware to run. With cloud gaming, the user doesn't need to buy and upgrade the equipment, but instead, they just need a relatively low-power device to run the stream.

Virtual reality (VR) games are where the player puts on a headset to see a stereoscopic, three-dimensional (3D) game. These are fully immersive and enable the player to feel like they inhabit the virtual world. Currently, high-quality VR headsets are expensive and require powerful hardware to run. Additionally, some players feel motion sickness during sessions of VR gaming. The lack of wide user adoption prevents most developers from creating games for VR.

Concepts of a fully realized metaverse would combine VR gaming and MMOs with digital property and collaborative work.

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Augmented reality (AR) is where game elements are projected over the real world. This can be done in a stereoscopic headset or on a smartphone camera feed. AR gaming in a headset is still in its infancy with equipment to support it, such as Microsoft's HoloLens, being rare. AR mobile games have reached some level of popularity due to their ease of access and the novelty of combining the real world with game elements.

Gamification is adding game elements to other types of activities. This can take the form of adding user levels and progress markers to encourage users to continue using an application. Adding game elements has been shown to improve user attentiveness and engagement.

F2P games do not charge any money from the player. These games can have large install bases and especially attract children as they don't require money upfront. These games often make money by charging for cosmetic items or by artificially limiting play time and charging for premium content. The game publisher often does not make any money from the vast majority of the players. A few players, however, pay large sums of money -- sometimes, hundreds of dollars -- to get the premium content; these players are called whales in the industry.

What are the benefits of gaming?

Proponents of gaming say that there can be benefits of regular game playing.

Gaming can promote cognitive growth. Games can provide puzzles and challenges that players must figure out and overcome. Some games require that the player multitask and prioritize objectives to find the best outcomes. Players can learn to make good decisions quickly. Some games can simulate real-world science, history and economic systems. Some studies have shown that people who play games are better at tasks requiring short-term memory recall.

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Playing games can promote spatial reasoning. Players can learn to form mental maps and navigate in 3D space. This can lead to better navigation in the real world. It has also been shown that surgeons who play video games before performing laparoscopic or robotic surgery have better outcomes than ones who do not.

What is gaming? – TechTarget Definition (4)

Some games can teach beneficial lessons to the player. These games can be instructional by design to teach a lesson in history or another school topic; this has been called educational software or edutainment. Other games simply involve real-world topics or scientific principles, where the player learns about those by playing it.

Controversies in gaming

Video games have attracted controversies due to how they are produced, their content and how they are played.

Many games feature violent content, which may lead to the player becoming desensitized to violence. Some have linked playing video games to violent acts and other antisocial behavior.

It is possible to become addicted to gaming. This can lead to players ignoring their personal lives or becoming removed from society. This has led some countries to enact laws limiting how long children can play a game for.

Random rewards are featured in some games. In some cases, these random rewards may be paid for by real money in microtransactions or can be bought and sold on a market. Some equate this to gambling. A few countries have placed laws on the practice of paying for random rewards to protect consumers.

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The content of some games has been criticized as being misogynistic in nature. The majority of video games are written, designed and programmed by men, so the female characters can be oversexualized or have not fully realized personalities. Additionally, the women in video game narratives are often portrayed as being helpless or as objects to be rescued or collected.

Some have criticized the workplace culture of many video game studios as being toxic to workers. Since many games are made to a release date, this can result in pressuring the employees to regularly work overtime to meet a deadline. This has been called crunch culture.

See also: motion-controlled gaming, live action role-playing, in-app purchase, in real life, first-person view and overclocking.


What is the real meaning of gaming? ›

the playing of games developed to teach something or to help solve a problem, as in a military or business situation. Digital Technology. the playing of computer or video games.

What is technology in games? ›

From Development to Play, Technology Powers Gaming

Gaming technologies that are influencing the business world today include: Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) Hardware and software for video game development. eSports technology. Gaming hardware.

What is the technical definition and operational definition of mobile gaming? ›

Mobile games are games designed for mobile devices, such as smartphones, feature phones, pocket PCs, personal digital assistants (PDA), tablet PCs and portable media players. Mobile games range from basic (like Snake on older Nokia phones) to sophisticated (3D and augmented reality games).

How can you describe the gaming industry? ›

What Is Gaming? The gaming industry is one of the most exciting industries in tech because of its importance to culture, entertainment and technological advancement. PC, console and mobile gaming companies are using the latest in tech to bring their games to the screens of more than three billion people.

What is the main purpose of gaming? ›

Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. Games generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational, or psychological role.

What is the purpose of gaming? ›

Playing video games fulfills a purpose in their lives. This could include gaming for: relaxation, opportunities to exert control, enjoyment, creativity, socialization, prevent boredom, challenge, and achievement. It could also be used as a coping method or stress management.

What are 4 types of technology? ›

Types of technology include mechanical technology, medical technology, communications technology, electronic technology, and industrial and manufacturing technologies.

What are the 7 types of technology? ›

7 types of technology
  • construction technology.
  • Manufacturing technology.
  • Medical technology.
  • energy power technology.
  • transportation technology.
  • Agriculture and bio technology.

What are the 6 main types of technology? ›

While a single piece of technology often overlaps into different areas, there are generally six different categories of technology: communication, electrical, energy, manufacturing, medical and transportation.

What are the 3 types of technical definition? ›

There are three main types of technical definitions. Power definitions. Secondary definitions. Extended definitions.

What do you mean by technical definition? ›

: having special and usually practical knowledge especially of a mechanical or scientific subject. a technical consultant. : marked by or characteristic of specialization. technical language. : of or relating to a particular subject.

What is technical specification in gaming? ›

In simpler terms, a technical specification for a game is a blueprint. The game has to be created eventually, which is why the technical specification should be created in order for the programmers to think about how the game will exactly be implemented. This helps to reduce confusion during the implementation stage.

What skills are needed for gaming industry? ›

Key skills for video game developers
  • Creativity.
  • A passion for video games.
  • Wide-ranging knowledge of gaming trends.
  • Strong analytical frame of mind.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Proficiency in programming languages, such as C# and C++

Who is the biggest gaming industry? ›

China and the United States have been battling it out for the top spot of the biggest global gaming market for years. Shenzhen-headquartered Tencent, one of the biggest online companies worldwide, is also driving the gaming market in China. In 2021, Tencent generated approximately a third of its revenue through its.

What is the most popular gaming industry? ›

The mobile video game industry is the most popular in terms of market share, with console gaming coming in second and PC gaming being last.

What are 3 benefits of gaming? ›

Benefits of video games for both children and adults include:
  • Healthy brain stimulation.
  • Development of problem-solving skills.
  • Stress relief.

What are 5 benefits of gaming? ›

The most notable positive effects of gaming include:
  • Improved cognitive abilities.
  • Improved problem-solving skills and logic.
  • Increased hand-to-eye coordination.
  • Greater multi-tasking ability.
  • Faster and more accurate decision-making.
  • Enhanced prosocial behaviors.
  • Better eyesight (attention to detail)

What are 10 benefits of gaming? ›

  • They speed up response times. ...
  • They encourage teamwork. ...
  • They stimulate creativity, focus and visual memory. ...
  • They improve strategy and leadership. ...
  • They teach languages. ...
  • Critical thinking.

What are the pros and cons of gaming? ›

Video games can be used to help improve test scores, teach life and job skills, improve brain function, and encourage physical exercise. Because video game addiction can negatively impact social and physical health, parents should be aware of the symptoms.

What does gaming do to your brain? ›

Previous research showed that just 10–20 minutes of violent gaming increased activity in the brain regions associated with arousal, anxiety, and emotional reaction, while simultaneously reducing activity in the frontal lobes associated with emotion regulation and executive control.

How does gaming affect the brain? ›

Just 10–20 minutes of violent gaming can increase activity in the brain regions associated with arousal, anxiety, and emotional reaction, while simultaneously reducing activity in the frontal lobes associated with emotion regulation and executive control.

What are the top 5 technologies? ›

Top 10 Technologies to Learn in 2023
  • Data Science.
  • Cloud Computing.
  • DevOps.
  • UI/UX.
  • Artificial Intelligence.
  • CyberSecurity.
  • Full Stack Web Development.
  • Salesforce.
Dec 31, 2022

What are the top 3 technologies in the future? ›

Listed Below Are the Top New Technology Trends, 2023.
  • Computing Power.
  • Smarter Devices.
  • Datafication.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Extended Reality.
  • Digital Trust.
  • 3D Printing.
  • Genomics.
Dec 23, 2022

What is another word for technology? ›

synonyms for technologies
  • automation.
  • machinery.
  • computers.
  • mechanics.
  • mechanization.
  • robotics.
  • telecommunications.
  • applied science.

What are 4 types of digital tech? ›

Simple Examples of Digital Technology
  • Video technologies for working from home.
  • GPS, What3Words and Location.
  • 5G and Virtual Reality.
  • Smart homes.
  • Cloud and SaaS.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Deep fake and AI.
  • Bitcoin and blockchain.

What technology do we use everyday? ›

Examples of everyday technology include phones, computers, washing machines, cars, toothbrushes, and coffee makers.

What are the 5 examples of technology? ›

Whether it's practical (like washing machines, tumble dryers, refrigerators, cars, flooring materials, windows, or door handles) or for leisure (like televisions, Blu-ray players, games consoles, reclining chairs, or toys), all these things are examples of technology.

What is a simple technology? ›

The most simple form of technology is the development and use of basic tools. The discovery of fire and the Neolithic Revolution made food easier to get. Other inventions, such as the wheel and the ship, helped people to transport goods and themselves.

What are the four new technologies? ›

4 Emerging Technologies to Watch
  • Artificial Intelligence. Computer software that analyzes data to help solve problems and view items in new contexts. ...
  • Blockchain. A decentralized ledger of transactions that allows for digital currency, or cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, to be exchanged. ...
  • The Metaverse. ...
  • 5G Cellular Technology.
Jun 10, 2022

How do you create a technical definition? ›

Follow these simple steps to create an astounding technical description:
  1. Define your audience. The first and most critical step to writing a technical description is to define your audience. ...
  2. Describe the result. ...
  3. Gather Information. ...
  4. Build an outline. ...
  5. Make it interactive. ...
  6. Proofread & Edit. ...
  7. Keep updating.

How many types of technical definition? ›

There are three types of definitions commonly used in technical writing: Parenthetical definitions. Sentence definitions. Extended definitions.

What are the types of technical description? ›

There are three main types of Technical Descriptions: Product description. Process description. Mechanism description.

What are the 4 basic elements in gaming? ›

There are 4 elements of game mechanics: quantity, spatial, state, and action. The following chart defines each of them and provides some examples of each.

What is technical game design? ›

“On either side, a technical designer's goal is to optimize processes and reduce cognitive load for your teammates.” In the gameplay camp, technical designers use their programming knowledge to create playable prototypes that others on the design team — who may not have much programming knowledge — can playtest with.

What is technical requirements examples? ›

In software projects, technical requirements typically refer to how the software is built, for example: which language it's programmed in, which operating system it's created for, and which standards it must meet.

What does god mean in gaming? ›

Noun. god mode (countable and uncountable, plural god modes) (video games) A game mode where the player character is invulnerable to damage, typically activated by entering a cheat code. quotations ▼

Where does the term gaming come from? ›

Middle English gamen "to sport, joke, jest," from Old English gamenian "to play, jest, joke;" see game (n.). The Middle English word is little recorded from c. 1400 and modern use for "to play at games" (1520s) probably is a new formation from the noun; and it might have been re-re-coined late 20c.

Is gaming positive or negative? ›

Studies have also shown that regular video gaming has a positive effect on areas of the brain that control attention and visuospatial perception skills. Used in moderation, video games can help tune up the brain's reasoning and problem solving capacities.

What is OG in gaming? ›

'OG' is an abbreviation of the term 'original gangster', which stems from 70s-80s gang culture. It seems strange, then, that the phrase OG would be used in gaming, but it's been widely adopted across pop culture to describe someone who's old-school and well-respected in a certain area.

What's a God daddy? ›

: a man who sponsors a person at baptism. : one having a relation to someone or something analogous to that of a male sponsor to his godchild: such as. : one that founds, supports, or inspires.

What does GTS mean in gaming? ›

The Global Trading System, or GTS for short, was first launched as part of Pokémon's Generation IV series in April 2007. The GTS allows players to exchange their Pokémon characters across the globe, similar to exchanging the game's playing cards. The Playstation racing game series Gran Turismo first launched in 1997.

Is gaming a mental health disorder? ›

Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes ...

Does gaming improve mental illness? ›

The truth is that video games have many benefits, including developing complex problem-solving skills and promoting social interaction through online gaming. Video games can be a great way to stimulate your mind and improve your mental health.

What are the four types of gamers? ›

In the 1990s, Dr Richard Bartle outlined 4 basic types of game players . These are the Achievers, the Socializers, the Explorers and the Killers. In his framework, he describes how they interact with the game and with each other.

What do you call someone who is obsessed with video games? ›

Video game addiction, also called internet gaming disorder, is a condition characterized by severely reduced control over gaming habits, resulting in negative consequences in many aspects of your life, including self-care, relationships, school and work.

What are the side effects of gaming? ›

Gaming has also been associated with sleep deprivation, insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders, depression, aggression, and anxiety, though more studies are needed to establish the validity and the strength of these connections.


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