computer game

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A computer game or video game is an electronic game that interacts with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video screen, typically a television or computer monitor . Further scientific definitions of the term are given in ludology , which also deals with the division into different genres, for example.


Lunar Lander , computer game from 1973

In about 50 years, computer games developed from more technical experiments at universities to one of the most influential recreational forms of the 21st century.

Even on the first computers there were attempts to implement well-known games such as checkers . Tennis for Two , developed in 1958 by the American William Higinbotham , is often regarded as the first computer game to offer new possibilities beyond the well-known games . The development was strongly dependent on the technical progress of computer technology . In the beginning it was only played "on the side" on mainframes actually intended for other purposes at universities , but in the 1970s it became possible to play games on electronic gaming machines in public thanks to the combination of the now relatively inexpensive simple logic chips with existing television technology play. For example, Pong by Nolan Bushnell was very successful . Companies such as Atari or Magnavox brought computer games to home users in the form of video game consoles . A rapidly growing mass market developed.

With the introduction of home and personal computers (PCs) in the 1980s, two technically different types of computer game developed: firstly, the video game (then "video game"), which was based on special game consoles and the computer game for home computers and later increasingly for PCs. In 1983 there was a crash in the video game market , mainly due to the flooding of the market with bad video games and the growing technical superiority of home computers over the game consoles of the time. In Japan , where home computers were not yet so successful, Nintendo ushered in a new era of video games in 1983 with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short), which also reached North America and Europe about two years later in 1985.

Since the mid-1990s, the areas for game consoles and PCs have been increasingly merged again for marketing reasons. Uniform storage media (such as CD-ROM or DVD ) and compatible hardware make it possible to develop games for different consoles as well as for PCs largely in parallel and thus more cheaply and for a broader market.

Computer games are a widespread form of entertainment today. They are among the most productive areas of narrative activity in digital media. They added sensory impressions to the field of interactive fiction and enabled users to interact in real time . In many countries, their own industry has formed for their development, the sales of which sometimes exceed those of the respective film industry .

Social structure


Computer games shape our culture today. They influence people in modern societies as well as other mass media . It can be observed, especially among young people, that their everyday lives have changed significantly as a result of computer games. The importance and acceptance of a computer game is very different in the individual industrialized countries. In some countries, computer games lead a social and cultural niche existence, even if not necessarily economically. On the other hand, in South Korea , for example, an important culture around games and players has developed. Computer games are very important in everyday life there.

The computer game is only reluctantly accepted as an art form alongside film , music , visual arts , etc. This may be due to the short story and the often very technology-based content that is focused on mere entertainment, whereby in the case of new titles these are very often simply technically improved repetitions of older titles with hardly any new content. On the other hand, the derogatory designation game may also contribute, suggesting a similarity to a toy with mere entertainment value without conveying the content. There are also arguments for the art form of computer games: Since playing on the PC or console is interactive, everyone makes their own "art" by using their own style of play.

The let's play scene has developed on the Internet in connection with computer games . A so-called Let's player plays a video game and comments on the game. They are particularly popular and well-known on YouTube , for example PewDiePie , which is in second place on the list of the most subscribed YouTube channels, became known through Let's Plays.


Two young men play computer games. (Thailand, 2007)

Computer games are played in all age groups. Some children start at preschool age. In general, young men and young men are particularly interested in computer games. The average computer gamer in 2003 was between 18 and 23 years old.

According to the Bitkom digital association , around 44 percent of Germans played computer and video games in 2015. There are differences in the individual age groups: Among 14 to 29 year olds, the proportion is around 81 percent. In the age group between 30 and 49 years it is around 55 percent, among the 50 to 64 year olds around 25 percent and in the generation of 65 year olds and older around 11 percent play computer or video games. The Entertainment Software Association , the trade association that most computer game publishers are affiliated with, estimates that one in four American citizens over the age of 50 regularly plays on the computer. Young women are not averse to computer games, but usually spend less time with them. In Germany in 2007, according to the study “ Typology of Desires ”, 38.8% of men and 22.3% of women played computer or video games. In 2015, a representative survey was able to show for the first time that in Germany the proportion of players among men and women is roughly the same at 43 and 42 percent respectively. Especially in e-sports , the competitive challenge playing computer or video games, there are many so-called "all female", so-female clan , which also play their own tournaments.

As a rule, game consoles are mostly aimed at a younger audience and therefore contain more action. Computer games for the PC can also generate more complex simulations with more powerful hardware and are therefore also popular with older people: The main buyer group is not young people, but young adults, because young people do not have the necessary money and therefore often copy commercial software. The music industry has a similar problem . It is possible to use computer games for training purposes. However, it does not correspond to the strict definition of a game as having no purpose , so that in such cases one usually speaks of simulations .

The possibilities of digital media create a movement of people from the ranks of the players who not only use computer games, but also change them and even develop new games from them. So-called mods (short form of modification) are mostly changes or extensions of computer games created by the players, rarely by professional game developers . For example, errors or unwanted restrictions in commercial games are eliminated after a short time, the graphics are improved or additional functions are incorporated. Much more important, however, are the mods that add new experiences to the original game. The best-known modification is Counter-Strike , originally developed as a multiplayer expansion for the game Half-Life . The computer game industry is increasingly actively supporting this scene, as it represents an inexpensive way of expanding ready-made games and thereby making them even more attractive.


Negative effects

Excessive consumption of computer games and the associated sleep deprivation can (as with excessive computer use in general) lead to sleep disorders , hallucinations , poor concentration, poor posture (caused by lack of exercise ), nerve damage ( carpal tunnel syndrome ), eye damage, failure of performance and nervousness. Also, the occurrence of Gaming Sickness (see also simulator sickness , motion sickness ) is possible. Many game manuals also give epilepsy warnings; these are required by law in some states. A study published by the Berlin Charité on November 10, 2005 showed that around every tenth computer player fulfills addiction criteria, comparable to those of other addicts such as alcohol addicts . A connection between aggression and gambling addiction is controversially discussed in politics and the media.

Regardless of this, the same much-quoted sentence seems to apply to computer games that arose in the course of research into television:

For some children, under some conditions, some television is harmful. For other children under the same conditions, or for the same children under other conditions, it may be beneficial. For most children, under most conditions, most television is probably neither harmful nor particularly beneficial.

“For some children, watching TV is harmful under certain conditions. It can be useful for other children under the same conditions or for the same children under different conditions. For most children in most conditions, most television shows are unlikely to be harmful or particularly useful. "

The professional association of German psychologists (BDP) warned at the Gamescom 2016 game fair against the influence of violent games (" killer games ") on people's propensity to violence. With all effects of media consumption (e.g. dexterity, concentration) one naturally assumes that there is an influence, but not with "killer games". Here the erroneous opinion is spread that these have no causal influence on the willingness to use violence. “Just as product advertising on television affects buying behavior in the supermarket, killing and injuring in killer games affects thoughts, feelings and behaviors in real life. Experiences of violence in real life and in the media are mutually reinforcing and not only lead to a positive assessment of violence in the short term, but also in the long term ”. According to an expertise of the Media Violence Commission of the International Society for Research on Aggression ISRA, there is scientific evidence for a connection between amoctates and similar forms of extreme violence and “experience of violence in virtual reality, be it through killer games or horror videos ".

Positive effects

The beneficial effects of video games include training in spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic thinking and fine motor skills. Attention and perception of visual details can also be improved. But computer games are not only interesting for consumers themselves as a pure leisure activity; there are now targeted applications through medicine, for example for the treatment of dementia, pain or stroke patients, with some specially developed and some “normal” games being tested.

A game was designed for the treatment of people with impaired vision , especially in childhood, in which the long-known anaglyph method for 3D stereoscopy is used for purposes other than a 3D image in order to generate a 2D image that can only be used with both eyes can be recognized correctly; game progress is not possible if only the dominant eye is used. Conventional therapies so far have concentrated on switching off the dominant eye (e.g. with eye patches or plasters) in order to train the weak eye without the dominant one.

Competitions and championships

E-sports competition (World Cyber ​​Games in Singapore, 2005)

In electronic sports ( e-sports ) , players compete against each other in clans in the multiplayer mode of the individual computer games in order to compete in terms of sport or, increasingly, to pursue financial interests. If primarily prize money from the tournament games and sponsorship contracts are sought, one speaks of progaming . These teams often play in leagues . Probably the best-known and largest league in Germany is the ESL, the Electronic Sports League , in which the winners can win prizes of up to € 500,000. In the meantime, however, the prize money has increased enormously, for example there is prize money of 1,000,000 dollars to be won at the CPL World Tour. Internationally more prestigious and prize money-worthy tournaments are the Electronic Sports World Cup or the World Cyber ​​Games . In addition to the sports leagues, there are now championships in almost all genres of video game culture ( first-person shooters , construction games, etc.).

Computer games as an industry

Ralph Baer (left), the developer of the first Magnavox Odyssey game console , here with George W. Bush .

historical development

While in the early 1980s, at the time of home computers and video game consoles, a single programmer could still do almost all the tasks involved in producing a game, today commercial computer games are required due to the increased complexity (e.g. due to technical progress or higher demands of the finished product in general) teams of specialists for the individual areas.

Developer scene

Computer games / video games are created by game developers. These can also be individuals, but are usually so-called studios ( developers ) in which at least one game designer , producer , author , graphic designer , programmer , level designer , sound designer , musician and play tester work together in teams on the development of computer games. Well-known developers include John Carmack , Sid Meier , Peter Molyneux , Will Wright , Shigeru Miyamoto , Yū Suzuki , Richard Garriott , Hideo Kojima , American McGee , Markus Persson , Chris Sawyer and Warren Spector . Most teams have twenty to fifty developers, but there can be over a hundred.

The average number of developers and the duration of development have increased with the growing importance of industry and increasingly complex technology. A modern, commercial game takes about one to three years to produce and costs about $ 1 to $ 15 million. The production costs are often borne by so-called publishers (comparable to book publishers ) who later sell and market the finished product.

In Japan in particular, the game industry is very different from that in Europe and the USA. Due to the history of arcade games and the still increasing popularity of console and arcade games compared to PC games in Japan, other structures of game development developed there. Many developers produce anonymously or under pseudonyms . The teams in Japan often have a dedicated designer ( called a director ) and are much larger than in comparable games from other countries. Since it is also more difficult to produce games for consoles without a publisher than for PCs, for example, there are hardly any independent productions from Japan. In Europe and the USA, however, a number of studios independent of publishers have been set up.

Before a computer game is published, it is checked by the entertainment software self-regulation (USK). This check is not compulsory, but is carried out with practically every new release, as the video game would otherwise only be made available to buyers of legal age. This classification is indicated by a clearly visible print on the packaging and the data carrier. If the content of the game violates applicable law (e.g. glorification of war or the portrayal of suffering people in a way that violates human dignity ), the game can be indexed by the Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young People (BPjM). To prevent this, games for the German market are often sold in a "cut" version compared to the international version.

Despite the great popularity of computer games, employment in this industry is still quite uncertain. Many developer studios emerge, develop individual games and quickly disappear from the market. For this reason, it can be observed that developers are increasingly gathering in certain geographical areas in order to quickly rejoin neighboring studios or even to found new teams. Only around five percent of all computer games generate profits. Quite a few productions are never finished and never published. That is why there may well be experienced game developers whose work was never known to the public.

The game developers are organized on an international level in the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and in Germany have come together to form the Federal Association of Computer Game Developers ( GAME ). Other advocacy associations are the Entertainment Software Association in the United States and the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software in Germany.

The largest trade fair is the E3 Media and Business Summit (formerly Electronic Entertainment Expo , also E3), which takes place annually in Los Angeles . The visit is reserved for trade visitors. In Europe, the Games Convention in Leipzig was the largest trade fair for computer games with over 100,000 visitors annually , and since 2009 it has been replaced by Gamescom at the Cologne exhibition center. Every year, game developers present the latest developments at the Game Developers Conference and exchange ideas about upcoming technologies.

Sales figures and sales in Germany

Sold data carriers and downloads and sales for computer and video games in Germany:

year Media
and downloads sold
2014 84.2 million units 1.723 billion euros
2013 69.5 million units 1.470 billion euros
2012 73.7 million units 1.501 billion euros
2011 70.9 million units 1.574 billion euros
2010 71.1 million units 1.591 billion euros
2009 68.4 million units 1.605 billion euros
2008 70.2 million units 1.642 billion euros

Source: BIU

According to the industry association GAME, the market for computer games in Germany is the largest in Europe with a turnover of 2.66 billion in 2013.

Worldwide sales

The table below shows the ten largest video game markets by estimated revenue for 2018.

No. country sales
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China $ 34.40 billion
2 United StatesUnited States United States $ 31.54 billion
3 JapanJapan Japan $ 17.72 billion
4th Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 0$ 5.76 billion
5 GermanyGermany Germany 0$ 4.99 billion
6th United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 0$ 4.73 billion
7th FranceFrance France 0$ 3.37 billion
8th CanadaCanada Canada 0$ 2.40 billion
9 SpainSpain Spain 0$ 2.20 billion
10 ItalyItaly Italy 0$ 2.17 billion


Almost all computer games define the goal of the game through formalized success criteria such as a point count ( high score ) or the achievement of predefined victory criteria. Some games also offer game modes in which no goal has been defined and the game can be continued at will or only ended if it fails (endless game). Examples of this are life simulations and non-games .


Modern computer games deal with very different content; some also refer to other media . Elements or entire worlds are often taken over from well-known films such as Blade Runner , the James Bond , Star Trek and Star Wars series and increasingly transferred from computer games to other media - such as the film adaptations of Tomb Raider , Resident Evil and Doom .

Categories and genres

Although there are the most varied types of computer games, no clearly defined categorization is possible within the scientific debate . A distinction is made between many genres that are based on semiotic schemes on the one hand (such as action adventures ) and on the other hand describe the mechanics and the interface used ( e.g. first-person shooter ). There are a number of computer games that can be assigned to several genres and which are therefore difficult to integrate. Some genres are well known, others less.

Since the mid-1990s, one of the best-known genres has been the first-person shooter or first-person shooter , in which the virtual game world is presented from the first-person perspective and which usually involves the quick-reacting shooting of virtual opponents (see questions ). Other important genres are the adventure game , in which puzzles are often set in the story and the speed of reaction takes a back seat to reflection; Strategy games in which the aim is to build a base, collect raw materials, set up an army or the like and thus act strategically against one's opponent; Role-playing games , in which the specific development of the skills of a virtual character is important, and jump-'n'-run games, in which the character moves running and jumping and precise jumping is an essential part of the playful action. Another genre that is closely related to the development of computers are various simulations, such as flight simulations , some of which are also used professionally. This also includes economic simulations in which the highest possible profit must be made. In sports games , a virtual sports situation must be mastered through skill at the interface.


The user interacts with other players or artificial characters via a computer by using a mouse , keyboard , gamepad or, increasingly, gesture control, and usually receives reactions via a screen . He often controls a virtual character as a substitute through a predefined world. In this he can move freely to different degrees, depending on the game. The game developer has previously defined rules and goals. The player must adhere to these rules (see also cheat ) in order to achieve the goal. Freedom of action is often a quality feature of computer games.

The mutual interaction of the player with the computer in single-player mode or via a computer with other players in multiplayer mode is fundamental to computer games, which is why it can be described as an interactive medium other than, for example, television , film or books .

Single player

Computer games are predominantly played in the so-called single player mode. The game situation is only influenced by the player himself and the computer. The actions and reactions of opponents, often called bots , are calculated by the computer. The level of artificial intelligence of the non-player characters is often a quality criterion in games with single player mode and with the development of computer technology it continues to advance. Games can be saved in the form of savegames in order to be able to resume them later or to send them to others.


Many computer games also support the so-called multiplayer mode , in which several human players can play against or with one another (e.g. co-op mode ). The game is played either on the same computer (when playing at the same time, often with the help of split-screen technology or alternately using a hot seat system) or via networked devices: Via the Internet or a local network (to a larger extent also at LAN parties , where many like-minded people network their computers). The multiplayer mode allows a direct comparison of the game skills and thus enables the athletic measurement of performance. This sporting competition with computer games is called e-sports . Examples of such games are: League of Legends , Unreal Tournament , Warcraft 3 and Counter-Strike .

Online games with a high number of players (MMO or MMORPG)

It is possible to have many players participate in a computer game via the Internet. The actual game runs on a server and every user can participate in the game from a networked computer. The most important form of these online games are the massively multiplayer online role-playing games , or MMORPGs for short , in which several thousand players play a role-playing game . In addition to the purchase price for the game, there are often running costs for using the server. These regular costs are an important source of income for the operators of such games. According to a study for the German-speaking countries, MMORPGs have a certain addictive potential , since the player can no longer determine his or her own pace of play. This often leads to an enormous amount of time spent developing the virtual character. The most successful MMORPG to date is RuneScape , which exceeded the 200 million account limit worldwide in 2012 .


Computer games are controlled via input devices . The computer processes this data and uses what is known as the game engine to calculate reactions that are output via output devices .


A platform is the hardware and / or software that serves as the basis for the respective computer game. A distinction can be made between static platforms such as specially developed game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System or the PlayStation and generic platforms such as PCs and mobile phones, which sometimes change significantly. The most successful game console of all time is measured by sales figures as at 2020, the PlayStation 2 from Sony .

Current game consoles are the PlayStation 4 from Sony, the Xbox One from Microsoft and the Switch from Nintendo . There is also a market for portable devices, such as the Game Boy series and the later Nintendo DS from Nintendo and the PSP or Vita from Sony. In the past, the mobile computer game was the exclusive domain of these handheld consoles , but today you can find more and more PDAs and mobile phones or smartphones which, in addition to their core functions, also have game support. The PC is still very popular as a platform for video games, especially in Germany.


Game engines (English game engines ) are programs that provide game developers frequently used tools are available and can be understood as a technical core of a computer game. They enable the display of 3D objects, effects such as explosions and reflections, the calculation of the physical behavior of objects in the game, access to input devices such as mouse and keyboard and the playing of music.

In the production of a computer game, either a new game engine is programmed - this was almost always the case until the mid-1990s - or an existing one is licensed and possibly modified, which can shorten the production time. Well-known commercial engines are Unity , the Unreal Engine from Epic Games , the CryEngine from the German development studio Crytek and the Source Engine from Valve . Known free engines are the Quake engine from id Software and its derivatives. There are almost always editors for the game engines - programs with which you can create your own levels without professional programming knowledge . These are mainly used to expand and modify commercial games, see Mods .


Various data carriers for computer games

Typically, the input is made by hand with the keyboard and / or the mouse or - especially in the case of game consoles - the gamepad . In the 1980s, other input devices such as paddles and joysticks were more common. Games with voice control have so far not caught on due to the susceptibility of voice recognition to errors . The feet are rarely used, especially in car racing games, to control the accelerator and brake with the appropriate pedals. In addition, some less common devices such as the PC Dash and the Strategic Commander can be used. There have been various attempts to market games that respond to the player's body movement - for example, through pressure sensors in rubber mats or through the evaluation of a camera image. These plays set long time a niche product. It is only with the high spread of the Wii console from Nintendo this kind established by management. The controller has a motion sensor that registers position and movement in the room, so a character can be controlled by arm movements .

Optical output

One can roughly differentiate between machine text in text mode , 2D and 3D computer graphics . Computer games have developed their own aesthetics , their own visual language . The first computer games were monochrome and characterized by text or block graphics . With the availability of better and better graphics processors , the visual worlds became more and more colorful and complex.

The typical game display today shows the player as an avatar in the picture, or directly his own view, the first-person view ( first-person perspective ) for example in the first-person shooter , comparable to the subjective camera in a film. In addition, all possible displays, scores, messages such as health status or mission goals appear in the image (mostly in the form of a head-up display / HUD). The visual information output can take place on a monitor , display or television and in connection with 3D glasses even a three-dimensional experience can be created.

Acoustic output

Acoustic signals, effects and spoken text are being used in computer games to an increasing extent and with ever better quality. From their former predominantly atmospheric importance, they have developed into an important source of information for the player (for example, for spatial positioning and orientation within the game). Especially in multiplayer games, acoustic information is becoming increasingly important through the use of headsets , which allow quick and easy communication between team members. In Germany, the voice output of imported computer games is increasingly being synchronized in a similarly professional manner to that of cinema films. Speakers already known from other media are sometimes used for localization .

Music is of particular importance in games : initially introduced purely as background music for the game scene, today it takes on a role similar to that in films: it serves to increase the drama and is intended to guide the game. Often short, memorable melodies are used that don't get boring even after frequent listening. There is a wide range of quality requirements: Today, professional game developers employ their own composers who concentrate entirely on creating the music. Today, this is simply added to the project as a finished audio track in the usual data formats. With freely accessible data folders, PC games offer the user the possibility of exchanging unloved pieces of music or noises and adapting them to their own taste. This is only possible if standard formats such as Wave , MP3 , MIDI or others are used and the game has not been combined into a single executable file by the programmer.

With the first video games in the 1980s, the music developers also had to have extensive programming expertise in order to be able to integrate their sheet music into the program.

Mechanical edition

In addition to the optical and acoustic output, the mechanical one offers a further possibility of interaction. The so-called force feedback technology enables the output of mechanical effects as a reaction to forces acting on the character. This technology is mainly used in steering wheels for racing simulations , joysticks for flight simulations and in gamepads and mouse buttons. For example, if the player drives the racing car against an obstacle, he will feel a countermovement on the steering wheel.

Overlap with other media, art forms

The computer game is characterized by essential differences, but also by essential similarities compared to other media or art forms. The three essential elements of a computer game are the (moving) image, the story and the interactivity. The first can be found in film as well as in painting and drawing , the second in film and literature , and the third in experimental theater .

The international networkability of computer games is increasingly one of its essential characteristics. Computer games often borrow other elements from other media and develop them further within their own framework, for example history, borrowed from drama, film and literature, or music and, albeit in a completely new way, the acting itself. Approaches to this can be found in Black & White , Deus Ex , World of Warcraft , The Sims , Dungeon Keeper , Baldur's Gate  2, Fahrenheit , Monkey Island 3 etc.

Sometimes certain parts of a video game can correspond completely to a different art form. For example, cut scenes are increasingly being designed according to the methods of film theory . Another trend that has emerged in recent years is to "distribute" parallel storylines in the form of written texts as collectible items in the game.

Conversely, eGames also flow into literature: In The Three Suns , a science fiction novel by the Chinese author Liu Cixi , the game "Threebody" plays a role, but there is no activity or interactivity of the players, it is more like a parallel opportunity to tell something. In SpielRaum by Alex Acht, designing a computer game is part of the plot, the interactions are well described, with their help the inspector can solve the case in the end.

In February 2008, Olaf Zimmermann from the German Cultural Council spoke out in favor of computer game developers being recognized as artists. Hans-Joachim Otto , Chairman of the Committee for Culture and Media of the German Bundestag, agreed with Zimmermann in an interview and explained that the development of games requires a high level of creative and artistic work.

When indexed by the BPjM , the term art is often rated as not as important as the risk to young people.

Films related to computer games

Novels related to computer games


Social impact

The effects of violence in computer games are the subject of controversial discussions. The main focus is on how violence is used and shown in games, its effects on the personal development of computer-playing children and young people, and a possible connection between virtual and real violence, i.e. That is, whether violence in computer games makes people with a susceptible personality structure more aggressive and / or more prone to violence in real life.

Through various studies, some of which have been carried out since the mid-1980s, researchers are trying to investigate whether the excessive consumption of violent computer games can have an impact on the consumer's propensity to violence. Other aspects play a role here, such as support in the social environment and the nature of the environment. The latest analyzes using functional MRI indicate that brain activity in the lower left frontal lobe shows a reduced response to violence in the Stroop test even after a week . A group of 14 men and an equally large control group were tested. One shortcoming of the study, however, is that the control group did not play computer games. The question arises whether a realistic control group who would have played a non-violent computer game would not have had similar results as the group confronted with violent computer games.

Body mass index (BMI)

Due to inconsistent results with regard to the relationship between the intensity of playing video games and the body mass index (BMI), a meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether playing video games had a negative effect on BMI and whether playing had an influence on Change of physical activity in the players has. The results of 20 publications were included in the analysis. The results showed a small positive association between inactive video games and BMI. The included studies showed significant heterogeneity. A further analysis of potential moderator variables showed that the relationship was more pronounced in adults. A meta-analytic structural equation model gave little evidence of a change in physical activity due to time spent on video games. Overall, the analysis could not confirm the assumption of a strong relationship between video games and body mass.

School performance

In a prospective study on the influence of playing computer and video games on school performance, it was shown that the intensity of playing computer games predicted significantly poorer school performance two years later. This effect remained significant even under control of the influence of the original notes and the mind. In addition, it was found that the math and reading skills of the students were not influenced by the frequency of play. The authors concluded that, although computer and video games lead to a small loss of academic success, basic basic skills are not affected.

Gambling addiction

Scientists point out the danger of addiction in excessive computer games. In computer games z. B. the reward system in the brain is constantly reactivated to keep the player playing. In practice, a computer game often has to solve many small tasks which, in contrast to real life, can almost always be completed in a very short time to the satisfaction of the player. The player then experiences a negative emotional state at the end of the game, which he tries to prevent by continuing to play.

In 2002, South Korea saw the first known death as a result of uninterrupted computer gaming. A 24-year-old collapsed in front of a computer in an internet café after 86 hours without sleep or food . After he had apparently recovered from the collapse, shortly afterwards the police called him found him dead in the toilet of a PC Bang .

See also

Portal: Computer Games  - Overview of Wikipedia content on computer games


Overview and introductory literature

  • Bob Bates: Game Design - Concept, Creation, Marketing . 2002, ISBN 3-8155-0433-3 .
  • Benjamin Beil among others: Theories of computer games as an introduction. GamesCoop. Junius Verlag, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-88506-691-0 .
  • Winnie Forster : Lexicon of computer and video game makers. 1st edition. Gameplan, Utting 2008, ISBN 978-3-00-021584-1 .
  • Winnie Forster : Game consoles and home computers 1972–2009. 3. Edition. Gameplan, Utting 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-024658-6 .
  • Gerd Frey: Games with the computer. ISBN 3-908491-40-1 .
  • Steven L. Kent: The Ultimate History of Video Games. From Pong to Pokémon and Beyond - The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville CA 2001, ISBN 0-7615-3643-4 .
  • Konrad Lischka: Playground Computer. Culture, history and aesthetics of the computer game. ISBN 3-88229-193-1 .
  • Mathias Mertens, Tobias O. Meißner : We were space invaders. ISBN 3-8218-3920-1 .
  • Jörg Müller-Lietzkow, Ricarda B. Bouncken, Wolfgang Seufert: Present and future of the computer and video game industry in Germany . 2006, ISBN 3-00-018580-1 .
  • Andreas Rosenfelder: Digital paradises. About the terrible beauty of computer games. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-462-03955-9 .
  • Christian Wirsig: The great lexicon of computer games . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2003, ISBN 3-89602-525-2 .

Specialist literature

Web links

Wiktionary: Computer game  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Computer games  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. In contrast to the data from the BIU, the study by the industry association GAME does not only include games that were purchased via data carriers or downloads. It is unclear whether platforms like Steam or Origin are included here. It also excludes games purchased through foreign platforms.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marie-Laure Ryan, Narrative and Digitality: Learning to Think With the Medium, in: A Companion to Narrative Theory. edited by James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz, 2005, ISBN 1-4051-1476-2 , pp. 515-528.
  2. a b gaming has established itself in all age groups . Bitkom press release of July 29, 2015, accessed on August 5, 2015.
  3. ( Memento of 27 September 2007 at the Internet Archive ), information about the computer game industry in 2006.
  4. Computer games in leisure time Typology of Desires (2006/2007), prepared by
  5. Significant increase in popularity - men and women gamble equally . n-tv Online from July 29, 2015, accessed on August 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Martin Geisler: Clans, guilds and game families: Social processes in computer game communities .
  7. ^ Wilbur Schramm, Jack Lyle, Edwin B. Parker: Television in the lives of our children . Stanford 1961, p. 1.
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