Online gaming: connection requirements
For a dedicated game player, the Internet is a virtual lolly shop offering a smorgasbord of gaming opportunities. Whether it's a simple "time filler", a complex "virtual world" or an online poker game, the Internet caters to all.
Connection requirements for online gaming
Generally, most games will be playable no matter what type of Internet connection you use. However, your connection type can affect the quality and speed of play.
You will be able to play many games using a standard dial-up. It is as simple as typing "online gaming" into Google and selecting one of the endless options. The downside is that standard dial-ups are only capable of supporting low quality play. High quality gaming requires a download speed of no less than 256 kilobits per second (kbit/s) and a minimum upload speed of 64 kbit/s.
Cable and ADSL connections give you the least transmission interruptions, quicker loading between levels, cleaner images (other connections can make pixels to obvious which blurs the image) and reduces your chances of system error during play.
Many of the more high-tech gaming sites will simply not work without a cable or DSL connection. X Box live is one such site; there is no point trying to play there without cable or DSL.
When it comes to cost, there are many free online gaming options, but popular games with high quality graphics such as "World of Warcraft" will usually charge monthly or annual subscription fees in order for you to play.
The pros and cons of playing games online
- Online gaming helps create new online communities. Friendships are formed and it's a perfect opportunity to meet like minded people and enjoy social interaction in a less threatening environment than normal
- Online gaming encourages strategic thinking and the use of your analytical skills
- If you find yourself stuck with nothing to do, playing games online is a fun way to pass the time.
- It's expensive to get the most compatible connection
- Playing for too long can impair vision. For every hour of play take a 15 minute break to reduce eye strain
- Like cigarettes and coffee, online gaming can become an addiction. Playing too much can affect your health if you have neglected exercise in favour of gaming
- A more serious addiction is gambling online. If you are playing for money, set a time and spending limit you can afford.
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