Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Computer & Video Games » Online Games » Multiplayer Games

As might be expected, a multiplayer online video game is one in which more than one person can play at the same time, over the Internet.

Multiplayer games use the networking capabilities of the Internet to allow different players to play together in the same game environment, working cooperatively with another human player or team of players, or competing against other players. Multiplayer games allow players to interact with other people in the game, in partnership, rivalry, or competition, and generally, include a means of player communication within the game.

In contrast, early video games were single-player games, pitting one human player against preprogrammed challenges or opponents powered by artificial intelligence. Competition, where it existed, was turn-based or involved players competing for high scores. Fairly early on, two-player games were developed, in which two players compete against one another, using dual game controllers. In 1985 and 1986, Gauntlet and Quartet introduced four-player gaming through arcade devices with consoles broad enough to allow for four sets of controls.

These types of games still exist and continue to be popular, but multiplayer games can allow thousands or even millions of players to be involved in the same game, the larger multiplayer games known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), which are covered in a subcategory of this category.

Multiplayer games include asynchronous games, in which players do not have to be playing at the same time, allowing players to compete when they are able to play.

The first large-scale multiplayer games used a single computer, a DECsystem-1090, at the University of New Hampshire. A space-themed game (STAR), a dungeons-and-dragons game (CAVE), and a warfare game using ships, submarines, and helicopters (OCEAN), allowed multiple players to compete using hundreds of terminals, using shared memory technology.

One of the first multiplayer video games played over a Local Area Network (LAN) was Spectre, released for the Apple Macintosh in 1991, which supported up to eight players. Originally played over BBS networks, Doom allowed four players to play simultaneously.

Networked multiplayer games, known as netplay, eliminated problems of lag and anonymity. Play-by-email multiplayer games used email to communicate between computers, and turn-based variations didn't require players to be online at the same time.

Many games include both single-player and multiplayer modes. Others, such as MUDs and massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) don't include a single-player mode. As first-person shooter games have become popular multiplayer games, some of them have little or no single-player capabilities.

Many multi-player games are played through web browsers, while game consoles also support networked gaming over LANs and the Internet, and mobile phone play takes place through Bluetooth or similar technologies.

Whatever the technology or platform, the focus of resources in this category is on multiplayer games, while role-playing games or massively multiplayer online role-playing games are sorted into a subcategory.

Another type of game that will be listed here, at least temporarily, are massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Simply put, an MMO is an online multiplayer game which a huge number of people can play simultaneously. Rather than playing against a handful of players, you play against thousands or millions of other players at the same time.

MMO games differ from MMORPG games in that massively multiplayer online roleplaying games are role-playing games, while an MMO game is not necessarily an RPG. While an MMORPG is an MMO, an MMO is not necessarily an MMORPG.

Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MORPGs) and MMORPGs are listed in a separate category in order to differentiate them as being in the roleplaying genre.

Most MMO games are roleplaying games, but an MMO isn't necessarily a roleplaying game. For the purpose of categorization, MMOs that are not roleplaying games will be listed here. If we list enough non-roleplaying MMOs to justify separating them into their own category, we will do so.

So, as it stands, multiplayer online games (MOGs) and massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) will be listed in this category, while those of the roleplaying genre will be separated into the MORPGs/MMORPGs subcategory.



MUD Games



Recommended Resources

Search for Multiplayer Games on Google or Bing