The Significance of Online Gaming Communities

The world of online gaming is basically all about community. Gaming has gained such popularity that it could now be considered as practically mandatory. Being great and skilled at playing these video games gives individuals several social benefits. Gaming communities have proven to be powerful, profitable, and at the same time, very fragile. Based on studies and research conducted, gaming has become one of fastest growing in the entertainment sector. It has surpassed the achievements of full-length feature films, revenue-wise. Gaming is truly a social activity and the mere act of playing games has been directly linked in the establishment of relationships as well as social hierarchies throughout history.

Games could be engrossing for many different reasons. Online games or video games are those that could be played over some kind of computer networking system, often the Internet itself. These online games could range from the simple text-based computer games to those games that incorporate complex computer graphics with virtual worlds that are populated by a lot of players simultaneously. A lot of the video games today have their own associated online communities and these make online gaming a true social activity that goes beyond the single player games.

Online gaming has really made it mark, being an innovative feature of the Internet which would surely be staying and developing in the many, many years to come. In the past, only those who were willing to spend expensive fees and put up with a hard setup process made up online gaming communities. Today, though, a lot of people are getting into, even the younger generation, which raises some negative implications as well on its effect on kids.

Gaming Communities – Not Just About the Game

Gaming communities are basically groups of individuals who are working for a specific goal or are supporting other individuals who share the same passion for a video or an online game. Today, games such as FPS’s and MMPORGS’s and other RTS or real-time strategy games are the ones that are able to develop larger online communities because of faster computers that are able to support a lot more options for more players.

These players make use of the collective power to influence others by setting examples for a particular games or by promoting certain views or perspectives, playing strategies or techniques, or a certain set of rules in the online gaming scene. You would sometimes see tags on the beginning or on the end of the names of players to show that they belong to a certain community or to signify that they are a member of a particular gaming group. Such tags could also signify that that particular player follows that community’s code of conduct, for example, wanting to promote fair play in the gaming world. Tags also generally represent the smaller communities, as the larger communities commonly have sub-groups like clans.

A lot of gaming communities exist throughout the online world. These gaming communities could vary from just a couple of friends who simply want to play together to the hundreds or thousands of gamers like MLG.

Some gaming communities are entirely online while there are others that organize frequent and regular meetings of their members that are usually through the form of LANs. Gaming communities could be joined by individuals due to the shared interest of players on a particular game and there are others who just enjoy the idea of belonging to a community with all the social interaction. An example would be those gaming communities that have forums full of chat rooms and discussion boards of any topic you could think of – from the tactics to who the best gamers are to general chat. There are times when the forum regulars themselves do not really play the games, but just enjoy the wonderful and warm sense of community it brings about.

The IPAQ Rx1950: HP’s Answer to PDA Gaming Community?

Hewlett Packard’s latest contribution to the Pocket PC arena (and let’s face it– to the PDA gaming community) is the iPAQ rx1950.

High-end PDA gamers may wish to set their sights elsewhere.

Its 300-Mhz Samsung processor is touted as XScale compatible, but this unit would choke on involved action sequences on some newer games.

Even worse, video playback on the rx1950 has been panned by a few forum lurkers. They’re saying that folks who like their PDA gaming served with a side of DVD viewing will find performance hampered in the latter.

My iPAQ 4150’s XScale400-Mhz still serves me quite well, with virtually no DVD to Pocket PC based hiccups.

To compound the issue, games like Age of Empires for Pocket PC contain full-motion video sequences.

A stuttering frame rate is really not what you want adoring, geeky Pocket PC or Palm public to witness. I personally find people most entranced by PDA games or Pocket PC video.

I choose to impress them on both fronts.

It sure beats telling folks that your device is best served by reminders. It’s so much more than that.

Blindly joining in the MP3 device mania, I purchased a Zen Micro unit at a huge discount fairly recently, saving some $125 CDN in the process.

I then purchased an iRiver FM transmitter from Best Buy that plugs into my cigarette lighter, so I could have a permanent MP3 shuffle when en route to work.

I then realized what a complete waste of money this endeavour was when I plugged connected my iPAQ to the iRiver and set Pocket Media Player on shuffle.

The answer had lain with my awesome, versatile Pocket PC all the time. I had failed to see it.

All I had to do was cram a one gigabyte SD card full of MP3s and let her rip.

I’d been blinded by too much PDA gaming and not enough MP3 playing.

As it turns out, I already have an MP3 player, as well as an arcade gaming platform, several gaming console Pocket PC emulators, a DVD movie viewer, etc.

It’s all right here in the case on my belt.

I’ve taken to plugging the FM tramsmitter in my iPAQ and turning up my radio volume to hear pins knock in Ultimate Bowling Fighter over car audio, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife.

She always assumes an expression on her face indicating that she’d rather not be in the vicinity when I resort to geeky, shameful PDA activity.

Still, on the rx1950 the beloved D-pad is still in place, eschewing the bizarre rx4700 touchpad for some good old

comfortable button-mashing.

So on the Pocket PC game directional control front, everything’s copasetic.

If you really want something that provides more than middling performance in some aspects, you may want to look elsewhere for your Pocket PC game fix instead of ponying up the cash for the rx1950.

The rx1950 is an introductory level device, but I can’t wait for Hewlett Packard to roll up its sleeves and produce a device that’s really worthy of the PDA gaming community.

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