When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.
Board games are not only a source for enjoyment, but they can give people the chance to learn a little bit about the real world as well. Granted, the conditions in board games aren’t the same as those in the real world, but they can start to get a general idea about what sort of things might be worth looking more into. One of those areas is that of investing. Through board games, people can learn about how putting money into something can bring you an even bigger yield out of it. Some games will teach you this basic principle and, while there are many more factors involved in the real world aspects of investing, it can give many people an idea of what they may come to expect.Monopoly shows people that they need to live on a budget while still spending money in investments. If a player does not start investing and building up their resources, they will quickly be out of the game. At the same time, if they do not make sure to always have enough money on them to pay for all of their expenses, they will quickly run into trouble as they need to start taking out mortgages to cover their expenses. When that player runs out of money, they are out of the game and their holding go to other players. The last player, the one who has invested enough of their income to be making a lot of money, will be the winner of the game.Acquire is another type of board game which can teach players all the benefits that investing could bring them. This game has players investing in hotel chains, building them up and merging them with other hotel chains to gain even more money. The stock that is bought in certain hotel chains is evaluated every time that the chain is merged with another chain, and players will gain extra money based on that merge. Play will continue until every remaining hotel chain is declared safe, or one single hotel chain can grow no larger. All stock is then liquidated and players will count up the money that they have earned. Whichever player owns the most will be declared the winner.Cashflow is another game which has been formatted to get people to understand more about the way the real world works with investing money. Much like The Game of Life, players will draw occupation cards and proceed to have a salary and expenses. Throughout the game, players will learn more about accounting for their money, making smart investments, and taking some risks.The point of the game is to teach people that the safer options are not going to be what makes them rich. Sometimes one has to take a chance when investing. Putting your money into safe options like CDs won’t accomplish nearly as much as rental properties and franchises will do for you. It is a great game to help people learn a little more about how to manage their money before trying to make some extra income.