A video game is typically a structured form of active play, often undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool. Games are very different from work, which frequently are carried out for profit, and from literature, which tend to be more of an expressive or aesthetic element. In contrast, games are typically planned as a single-player activity, with one player controlling the objective while the others perform actions that further the objective. In this way, games can provide an escape from the stress and activity of life, allowing participants to engage in a complex and interactive simulation of the real world.
Games can take many forms, but all have a common core: they are games based on an abstract theme, whether this be racing cars, robots, fantasy, or horror. A recent development in video games is the ‘immersion’ of the player in the virtual world, creating a heightened sense of participation in the storyline, as the player is almost completely enclosed. For this reason, young people are particularly drawn to this style of game. The Bavelier games offer something different, offering young people something that simulates real-life situations as well as the opportunity to interact with other players. Young people can role play as pirates, students, factory workers, or any other sort of character, using their own imagination to create their own avatar and embark on an odyssey across the digital world.
However, while games can be enjoyed by almost anyone, some specialised equipment is needed to enjoy the most advanced titles. As there are a large number of titles available, it is best to check out a selection of titles before choosing a particular game: while games targeted towards young people can be enjoyed by almost anyone, mature titles require increased levels of skill and understanding, depending upon the complexity of the game. In addition, the more complicated a game, the more skillful players must be, as advanced technology needs greater attention to detail. Young people who are only beginning to appreciate computer gaming may find that the complex nature of some of the titles makes them difficult to understand.