In the 1970s and 1980s, more online games were created, especially text adventures , MUDs and online versions of well-known board games such as chess , go or checkers . The early games either ran over the PLATO network or via mailboxes or peer-to-peer connections.
With the civil opening of the Arpa network from 1984 and the associated transition to the Internet, online games became more and more widespread. From 1985 the first commercial online game Island of Kesmai was offered within the Compuserve network .
With the commercialization of the Internet in the early 1990s, online games increasingly reached private households and became an integral part of computer game culture.
Because of the time-dependent billing models for telephone and Internet connections that were common in Germany until the end of the 1990s, online games only became commercially viable in this country with the introduction of flat-rate tariffs from the early 2000s.
There are now games in which tens of thousands of players - mostly spread over several servers or clusters - interact.
Online games can be divided technically into two categories: On the one hand there are browser- based online games ( browser games , social network games ), single or multiplayer , which are either based on pure HTML code or additional browser plug-ins (e.g. Flash or Java ).
On the other hand, there are client- based multiplayer online games. These require the installation of client software . The client software then either connects to other clients - this peer-to-peer architecture is particularly popular in strategy and action games for small numbers of players - or it establishes a connection to a game server. This is how most online first person shooters and all MMOGs work .
Numerous other subdivisions are possible, e.g. B. by cost and genre . Many games of all types now have online elements, some of which are optional.
Online games often use a database on the server side to store game information and thus ensure persistence . The data transferred from the client to the server are mostly encrypted and it is forbidden in the user agreements to decode them in order to protect the game from hacks .
Connecting a large number of users to a server at the same time is still a technical challenge. Therefore, in MMOs, the players are usually distributed over several servers. The transition between the individual servers is partly possible, partly not.
- Ralf Kaumanns, Veit Siegenheim: Online gaming - from niche to mass phenomenon. In: ZMW - Journal for Media Management and Communication Economics 2/2007
- Henry Krasemann: Identities in online games - who is playing to whom? In: DuD - Data Protection and Data Security 3/2008 ( PDF )
- Eike J. Schuster: Online games: basics, success factors, case studies, outlook . VDM Verlag Dr. Müller , Saarbrücken 2006. ISBN 3-86550-484-1 .
- Thomas Blatt: Online games in corporate communication: potential and opportunities . VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Saarbrücken 2007. ISBN 3-8364-0391-9 .
- Edward Castronova: Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games . Baker & Taylor, Charlotte 2005, ISBN 0-226-09626-2 .
- TL Taylor: Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture . The MIT Press, Massachusetts 2006, ISBN 0-262-20163-1 .
- Howard Rheingold: The Virtual Community : Homesteading at the Electronic Frontier . Addison-Wesley, 1993 ( online ).
- Link catalog on the subject of online games at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )
- Network algorithms using the example of the Source Engine