Computer game

a computer game is an interactive medium; a program on a computer, which one or more users made possible to play a play described by implemented rules.

Further designations:

  • Telespiel: Historical designation first, to television sets those which can be attachedPlay computer.
  • Arcade play: Name for computer game devices implemented as Münzautomaten. The designation is transferred actionreiche plays, how they are typical for Arcade automats, frequently to fast, even if these run on other platforms.
  • Console play: Name for computer games running on play consoles. Play consoleswere the successors of the Telespiele, and the software offer was based into the early 1980ern frequently to a large part on conversions of plays written for Arcade automats. Japanese companies have Mario into the late 1980ern by the introduction of play figures such as super and Sonic a charakterisches, recognizable appearance coined/shaped by console plays. Since console plays also for other platforms marketed and in reverse for consoles also for other platforms developed plays are offered, this sub-group of the computer games is not firmly outlined.
  • Video game: Frequently asSynonymously for console play used, the designation video game emphasizes only the visual expenditure of the play action on a monitor. Nearly all computer games are video games, even if there are audio plays for some time as barrier-free plays also also purely acoustic expenditure, thosealso by Sehbehinderten to be played can.
  • E-Game: (also: eGame or EGame as abbreviation for „electronics Game “) becomes ever more frequently than recapitulatory generic term equally for console-based video games and PC - computer games uses.

Table of contents


major items: History of the computer games

the computer games developed in about 50 years from rather technical attempts onUniversities to one of the most influential leisure activities forms 21. Century.

Already on the first computers there were attempts, well-known plays, as for instance the Damespiel to convert. As the first computer game, which offered new possibilities beyond long-known plays, the 1958 however often becomeby the American William Higinbotham designed tennis for two outstandingly. The development depended strongly on technical progress of the computer technology. If the development took place at the beginning of only on large computers at universities, then it became into the 1970er years by the television technologypossible to play also plays on electronic play automats in the public. Very successfully was for example Pong of Nolan Bushnell. Companies such as Atari or Magnavox brought the computer game in the form of video game consoles also to the home users near. It developeda rapidly growing mass-market.

By the introduction of the home and personal computer (PC) into the 1980er years developed for the time being two technically from each other separated kinds of the computer game: The video game (at that time also Telespiel) based on special play consoles and the computer game for thatHome computer and later increasingly for the PC. In the year 1983 it arose to a Crash on the video game market particularly by an inundation of the market with bad video games, the technical superiority of the home computers and the simpler copyableness ofCartridges and disks stored plays for home computers in relation to the modules of the video games at that time badly copyable for private individuals. In Japan, where the home computers were not yet so successful, Nintendo rang 1983 a new era of the video games.

Since center that 1990er years are again strengthened united the two ranges for play consoles and PC for marketing reasons. Thus uniform storage media (like the CD-ROM or DVD ) and a compatible hardware form the possibility, plays both for different consoles and for PCsto develop parallel and thus more economically and for a broader mass-market. Computer games are nowadays a wide-spread and important form of the maintenance. In many countries its own industry formed for the development of computer games, their conversions partly those for thatrespective film industry exceed.

social structure


of computer games today our culture and they coin/shape affect humans of modern societies just like other mass media. Particularly with young people it is to be observed that itself their everyday life by computer gamesstrongly changes. The meaning and acceptance of the computer game are very different in the individual industrial nations. In Germany there are many rejecting prejudices opposite the computer games - they form still a niche existence, if also not economical. Whereas itself for examplein South Korea an important culture approximately around play and player formed and computer games in the everyday culture a high value to take. The video game culture manifested itself in industrial nations.

The computer game becomes altogether further hardly as art form beside film, music, forming art etc. accepted. This may be at short history and often very technology-referred and on bare maintenance fixed contents, whereby these besides very technically improved repetitions of older titles with hardly new, often bare with new titlesContents are. On the other side for it also the name computer play has responsibility itself in the German-speaking countries, which works devaluing, because it implies a similarity to a toy with bare maintenance value without contents switching.


of computer games becomein all age layers easily. Some children begin already in the Vorschulalter with the video or computer game. Generally above all male young people are interested in computer games. The average computer player was 2003 between 18 and 23 years old. Female young people against it are Plays averse, do not spend however less time thereby. This seems to be to actionorientierten contents of the plays because of that often force and, since socially aligned computer games are very popular as for instance the windshield frame section 2 also with young women. Usuallycomputer games for play consoles are usually conceived for a recent public and therefore more actionbetonter. Computer games for the PC can produce also more complex Simulationen by more efficient hardware and are therefore even with older humans like. The main buyer category are not however young people, butyoung adults, since young people have not the necessary money and avail themselves pretty often of illegal pirat copies. This problem is comparable to the music industry with that. A use from computer games to the purpose of the training is possible. It does not correspond howeverthe strict definition of a play as undirected, so that one speaks in such cases usually of Simulationen.

From the possibilities of the digital media a movement of humans, who do not only use computer games, results but from the numbers of the playersthese also change and even new plays from it develop. So-called Mods (short form of modification) is usually changes or extensions of computer games, provided by the players, rare from professional play developers. Thus for example already errors become or after short timeunwanted restrictions in commercial plays eliminated, the diagram improves or additional functions inserted. Many more importantly is however the Mods, which extends the original play by new experiences. The most well-known modification is Counter Strike, originally as Multiplayer - extension to the play would help-rundeveloped. The computer game industry begins to support this scene increasingly actively since this is a favorable possibility, finished plays to extend and thus make still more attractive.


with exaggerated consumption of computer games and the associated sleep withdrawal,it (as general during exaggerated computer use) can come to sleep disturbances , hallucinations, lacks of concentration, attitude damage (caused by lack of movement), nerve damage (Karpaltunnelsyndrom), eye damage, achievement failure and nervousness. Also the occurrence of Gaming Sickness (see also simulator Sickness, Motion Sickness) is possible. In addition in many play manuals epilepsy warnings are expressed; these are legally prescribed in some states. There is even already humans before the computer dehydrogenated (death is the result). But those are individual cases.

One to 10. November 2005if study of the citizens of Berlin published Charité, that showed about each tenth computer player dependence criteria fulfilled, which with those by other addicted ones, as for example alcohol-dependent is comparable. However no connection was determined by aggressions and addicted ones.

competitionsand championships

with electronics the sport (it haven) step many players organized into crews (clan so mentioned) in the multi-player mode of the individual computer games increasingly by itself sportily to measure against each other on or over also financial interests to pursue. If mainTo be aimed at, one speaks prize moneys from the tournament plays and sponsor contracts of the Progaming. These crews play then also frequently in leagues also. The probably most well-known and largest league in the German area is the ESL, the electronics of sport League, therecan the winners premiums of up to 500.000 € win. In the meantime however prize moneys increase enormously, for example give it with the CPL World route a prize money from 1.000.000 $ to to win. Internationally by far prestige and preisgeldträchtigere tournaments are thoseQuakecon or the World Cyber Games. Apart from the sport leagues there are meanwhile championships in nearly all category the video game culture. (Ego Shooter, Construction Games, etc.)

computer games as industry

historical development

during in the early1980er years at present the home computer and video game consoles still another individual programmer almost all tasks of the production of a play to settle knew, needs one today for commercial computer games a large number of most diverse talents whereby whole teams from specialists at a projectto work must.

developer scene

of computer games are provided by play developers. That also individuals can be, are however usually so-called. Studios (Developer), in those at least one Game designer, producer, authors, diagram designer, programmer, level designer, Tongestalter, musicians and playing esters in teams at the development of computer games together work. Among the most well-known developers rank John Carmack, simmer Meier, Peter Molyneux, Shigeru Miyamoto and Warren Spector. Most teams cover 20in addition, to 50 developers, can be over 100.

The average number of developers and also the development duration rose with the increasing meaning of the industry and that increasingly more complex technology, which is used. The production play up-to-date and of a commercial lastszirka until three years and approximately one costs US Dollar up to 15 million. Production costs are often carried by Publishern so mentioned (comparable with book publishing houses), the which late finished products drive out and marked out.

Particularly in Japan those differsPlay industry quite strongly of in Europe and the USA. By the history of the Arcade plays and the still higher popularity of console and Arcade plays in relation to PC plays in Japan, different structures of the play development developed there. Thus many developers produceanonymous or under aliases. Often the teams in Japan have a firmly assigned designer (Director called) and are substantially larger for comparable plays from other countries. Since it is also more difficult, without Publisher of plays for consoles tooproduce as for example for PCs, hardly give it independent productions from Japan. In Europe and the USA against it some from Publishern independent of Studios formed.

Before plays in Germany are published, the play manufacturer must since 2003 the product throughthe maintenance software self-check (USK) for a certain age group to release leave. This classification is marked by a clearly visible print on the packing and the data medium. Contents of the play should however offended against valid right (for example during war glorification orthe representation of suffering humans in one hurting way) can the play by the federal inspection station for youth-endangering media (BPjM) be indicated. In order to prevent this, plays for the German market often become from the manufacturer in one opposite thatinternational version „defused “version sold.

Despite the large popularity of computer games an occupation is still quite uncertain in this industry. Many Entwicklerstudios develop, develop individual plays and disappear fast again from the market. For this reason it is to be observed thatthe developers strengthens in certain geographical areas accumulate, in order to follow or new teams base fast again neighbouring Studios. Profits gain straight times approximately five per cent of all computer games. Some productions are not finished placed and never published.Therefore there can be quite experienced play developers, whose however never admits work of the public became.

The play developers organize themselves on international level in that internationally Game Developers Association (IGDA) and have themselves in Germany for the Federal association of the developers of computer games (G.A.M.E.) united. In Germany training as the computer game developer is possible after guidelines industrie and of the Chamber of Commerce (IHK). The official job title reads Game designers.

The largest trade fair is the electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), which takes place annually in Los Angeles.The attendance is reserved specialized visitors. In Europe the Games Convention Leipzig with annual is over 100.000 visitors the largest fair for computer games. Play developers present each year on the Game Developers Conference the newest developments and exchange themselves over coming technologiesout.

contents of

nearly all computer games define the goal of the play by formalized success criteria like a point counting (Highscore) or a reaching of pre-defined victory criteria. Some plays offer in addition play modes, in those no goal were defined and thatPlay to be at will continued can or only by a failure is terminated (continuous play).


modern trend of computer games are occupied with very different contents.

There is also an exchange with other media. Thus elements or whole often becomeWorlds from well-known films as for instance from Blade Runner, the James bond -, star Trek - and star Wars - series taken over and ever more frequently transferred from computer games to other media - as for instance the filmings of Tomb Raider, resident Evil and Doom, whereby the claims of quality go rarely beyond simple Actionszenen.


although it the most different kinds of computer games, is within the scientific argument no clearly defined categorization gives possible. One differentiates between many category, upthe side rather on semiotic patterns (as for instance Action Adventures ) on the other side the mechanisms and the used interface are based describe (for example Ego Shooter). Thus it adds some computer games, several category to be assigned can andthose therefore an integration heavily falls. Some category are very, other less well-known.

Among most well-known category ranks since center of the 1990er years of the Ego Shooter or roofridge person Shooter, with that the virtual play world from the I perspective is represented and mostlyfast-reacting shooting of virtual opponents contents is (see ask). Further important of category are the Adventure, with which mysteries are set in often into history; To collect strategy plays, with which it concerns to develop a basis raw materials,to set up an army or a like and proceed strategically thereby against its opponent;Games of roles, in those it particularly around the specific development of the talents of the virtual character and Jump'n'Run arrives - plays, in those itself the play figure constantly and jumpingmoved and precise jumping a substantial part of the spielerischen action represents. A further category, that connected with the development by computers various Simulationen is close, like flight simulators. In addition also Wirtschaftssimulationen count, in those as high a profit as possibleto be gained must. In sport plays a virtual sport situation must be mastered by skill at the interface.

See also: List from computer games to category.


of the users interacts over a computer with other players or artificial play figures throughInput by means of mouse, keyboard or Gamepad and usually receives over a screen reactions. The player steers thereby frequently a virtual character as a deputy by a pre-defined world. It can itself in the given world, depending upon play,in different measure freely move. The play developer defined rules and goals before. The player must keep these rules (see also: Cheat), in order to achieve the goal. A quality criterion for computer games is often the freedom of action.

Mutual one on the other influencingthe player with the computer in the single player mode or over a computer with other players in the multi-player mode it is fundamental for the computer game why one calls it differently for example the television, the film or the book than interactive mediumcan.

single players

of computer games are played predominantly in the single player mode so mentioned. The game situation is affected only by the player and the computer. The actions and reactions of the opponents, often Bots mentioned, are computed by the computer. Thereforethe efficiency of the computer for the complexity and quality of the opposing actions is crucial. The level of the artificial intelligence of the Nichtspielercharaktere is frequently quality criterion with plays with single player mode and with the development of the computer technology continues to progress it always. Spielständecan in the form of Savegames be stored, in order to take up or send to others they away later again.


many computer games support also the multi-player mode in such a way specified, with which several human fellow combatants counter or with one another can play. Playedbecomes either at the same computer (with simultaneous play often with the help of the Splitscreen - technology) or over interlaced devices: Frequently by Internet or on a LAN party in such a way specified, where many Gleichgesinnte network their computers. Admitted examples of such playsare:Quake 3 arena, unreal Tournament, Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. The multi-player mode permits a direct comparison of the play talents and makes so the sporty measuring possible of the achievements for example in the it haven and with the Progaming.

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On-line plays with high player number

over Internet it is possible to take part many players in a computer game. The actual play on a server is computed and each user can participate from an interlaced computer in the play happening. Thosemost important form of these on-line plays the massifs (ly) are short Multiplayer on-line Role Playing Games, MMORPGs, with which up to several thousand humans play a game of roles. Also running costs of the use often fall apart from the purchase price for the playthe server on. These regular costs are an important source of income for the operators of such plays.MMORPGs have an extremely high Suchtpotenzial, since the player cannot determine its play speed any longer. This often leads to an enormous expenditure of time forthe development of the virtual play figure. The most successful MMORPG is World OF Warcraft, which at the beginning of of 2006 reached world-wide about 5 million player. Comes partly also to a “mixture” from play and reality like the following example shows: The MMORPG“Starwars Galaxies” (after George Lucas' star Wars), was the most successful of its sort before the publication of World OF Warcraft (in the MMORPG scene briefly “WoW” mentioned), both in the USA and in Europe. In the magazine “the mirror” was inArticle, in which it concerned an American biology student, who earned himself with the playing of Starwars Galaxies its living costs. It had provided “ingame” (in the play) a Jedi knight and had brought these on a very high level (which very heavilyto reach is and is extremely time-consuming). Owing to this high-ranking character, he had to attain the chance “Items” (articles) from other players or “Mobs” (computer opponents) fast. It could sell these articles with and made partly amazingly large profits. Lastsold it its Jedi knight for converted approx. 700€ over ebay. It is for humans, who did not play ever a MMORPG to understand with difficulty like players so much money for a fictitious article, only in principle outData exists, to spend can.


of computer games are steered via input devices. The computer processes these data and computes assistance of the Game engines in such a way specified reactions, which are spent over output devices.


as platform one designates those Hardware, which serves as basis for the respective computer game. One can to be differentiated specially developed play consoles between static platforms like as Nintendo the Entertainment system or the PlayStation and generic platforms such as PCs and mobile telephones, which change every now and then strongly.Most successful play console was 2004 the PlayStation 2 of Sony. Further current play consoles are the Xbox and the Xbox 360 of Microsoft and the GameCube of Nintendo. Besides a market for portable devices exists as for example the Game Boy- Series of Nintendo and Nokias N-fee. In former times if the mobile computer game was excluding the domain of these Handheld consoles, then one finds today ever more PDAs and mobile telephones, which possess a play support additionally to their actual functions also. That Computer is Personal particularly in Germany as platform for computer games much likes.


Game Engines are programs, which put and as technical core of a computer game be understood can frequently used tools to the play developers at the disposal. Itmake possible the representation of 3D-Objekten, effects such as explosions and reflections, the computation of physical behavior of objects in the play, the access to input devices such as mouse and keyboard and a playing of music.

With the production of a computer game either a new becomesGame engine programs - to center of the 1990er this was nearly always the case - or however existing an already licensed and possibly. modified used, whereby the production duration can be shortened. Well-known commercial Engines is the Quake III engine of ID software, the unreal - engines of Epic Games and the SOURCE engine of valve. To the Game Engines it gives nearly always also editors - programs, with which one can produce own levels and maps without professional programming knowledge. These becomeparticularly to the extension and modification of commercial plays, see assigned Mods.


usually takes place the input by hand with the keyboard and or the mouse particularly with the PC or the Gamepad with play consoles. Inthe 1980er years were still different input devices such as Paddles and Joysticks further common. Plays with language control did not become generally accepted due to the fault liability of speech recognition yet. The feet become only rarely, particularly with author plays the control of gasand brake with appropriate pedals used. In addition some less common devices are as PC the Dash and the Strategic COMM other usable. It gave different attempts, reacts to play to marked out, those on the body movement of the player - for example throughPressure sensors in rubber mats or by evaluation of a camera picture. These plays represent today however still niche products.

optical expenditure

one can differentiate roughly between machine text with respect to the text mode , 2D-Computergrafik and 3D-Computergrafik. Its own aesthetics has itselfthe computer games develops, its own picture language. The first computer games were mono chrome and coined/shaped from text or block diagram. With the availability of ever better diagram chips the picture worlds became ever more colored and more complex.

The typical play display today shows the player as Avatar in the picture, or directly its own view, the roofridge person opinion (Egoperspektive) for example in the Ego Shooter, comparably the subjective camera in the film. In addition all possible announcements, point conditions, appear messages such as state of health or mission goals in the picture. The visual information output can by monitor, display or television take place and in connection with a 3D-Brille can be produced even a three-dimensional experience.

acoustic expenditure

acoustic signals, effects and spoken text become to increasing extent and better and better becoming qualitywith computer games assigned. Of that formerly they developed predominantly atmospheric meaning to an important source of information for the player (for example to the spatial detection and orientation within the play). Particularly in multi-player portions acoustic information attains by the use ofHeadsets, which permit fast and simple communication between team members, a ever greater importance. In Germany the acoustic output of imported computer games is ever more frequently just as professionally synchronized as with motion picture films. Becomes partial with the localization also on already from othersMedia well-known speaker voices fallen back.

Special meaning has the music in plays: Initially as pure Untermalung of the Spielszene imported, the play music takes today a similar role as with films: It serves the increase of drama TIC and is the play happening szenischlead. Often short, einprägsame melody sets are used, which do not become boring even after more frequent listening to. The range concerning the claim of quality is large thereby: Professional play development companies employ today own composers, who konzentieren themselves completely on the production of the music.This is caused to the project today simply as finished audio trace in usual data formats. With the first Telespielen of the 80's, the music developers must have against it also extensive program-technical specialized knowledge, in order to be able to integrate their note material into the program.

mechanical expenditure

beside the optical and acoustic expenditure offers the mechanical further interaction possibility. The Force feedback in such a way specified - technology makes the expenditure possible of mechanical effects as reaction to forces, which affect the play figure. This technology becomes above allin steering wheels for Rennsimulationen, Joysticks for Flugsimulationen and used in Gamepads as well as with mouse buttons. If for example the player with the racing car drives against an obstacle, he feels a reaction at the steering wheel.


it becomes again and againcontroversially the role of force in computer games discusses. It concerns in the discussions rather, how force shown in plays and in what respect there is a connection between virtual force and material force.

see also


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