Online Games – Can We Make Money Playing Them?

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.

Great Christmas Games You Can Play at the Dinner Table to Keep the Fun Flowing

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Do you prepare Christmas dinner for everyone? If you are in charge of the gathering for Christmas dinner, you will want to organize a few fun games and activities besides the meal. After all, everyone will be sniffing around the kitchen looking for food if you don’t keep them entertained. Here are a few fun-loving ways to divert the crowd until the Christmas dinner is done.Guess The Christmas DinnerHere’s a simple game all your guests will love. Have everyone who did not work in the kitchen guess the Christmas dinner based on a smell test. By sniffing aromas in the air, players have to figure out the Christmas menu. Although it may be easy to guess whether you’re cooking roast beef or turkey, it’s harder to figure out what type of potatoes are being prepared. Are they baked potatoes or mashed with gravy? Do you smell squash or broccoli with cheese or both? The person who most closely guesses the foods being served for Christmas dinner is rewarded with a taste.Get Board On ChristmasTo avoid getting board, get board on Christmas – that is, get out your old board games. Find the most childlike board games you own and tote them out for Christmas fun. Have the grown men sit on the floor to play the games. Take a photo of the guys while they cluster around playing a round of Chutes and Ladders on the floor. An even better idea is to give the guys a princess dress-up game so you can laugh at the fathers and grandfathers wearing frills and tiaras. If you play princess games, make sure the camera is handy to capture those funny moments forever. You can even get the kids involved by having them play cards or Monopoly against the men.Christmas Tablecloth DecoratingWhen the kids start to clamor around the table for asking food, divert their attention by having them decorate the tablecloth with Christmas designs. Leave your Aunt Harriet’s fine linens in the china closet and use a cheap, disposable tablecloth instead. You can even keep this doodling tablecloth every year to see the progression of the children’s artwork. Have the kids use permanent markers and date and sign their creations so you have the information in years to come.Toss The Santa HatTake the party outside for awhile to play a exhilarating game of toss the Santa hat. Fill a Santa hat with candy and try to throw it around without the candy falling out. Another idea is a Santa hat relay. Everyone wears the Santa hat and hands it to the next player, who must put on the hat and do the same. If everyone enjoys throwing games, you can take it to the next level. Play football with a goal line made from old Christmas ribbon. Start a soccer game with a rolled up ball of discarded Christmas wrapping paper.The Worst Christmas PresentsDiscuss the best and worst presents you ever received for Christmas. Tell stories describing the coolest and most awful gifts you got. Just remember not to tell a story about the worst present in front of the person who gave it to you! Hold dessert hostage until everyone shares a story about their best or worst Christmas present.Where Is Santa Now?While you eat Christmas dinner, include a delightful activity to amuse the children. Play where is Santa now by using a Santa hat – after all, Santa must be back at the North Pole by now! Have someone pass the Santa hat to another person under the table while everyone tries to decide where it is. Whoever holds the Santa hat winks at someone else at the table. When a person gets winked at, they say “Santa go away!” and the hat is passed. The hat passing and winking goes on until someone guesses where Santa is.