From the very earliest days of networked and time-shared computers, online games have been part of the culture. Early commercial systems such as Plato were at least as widely famous for their games as for their strictly educational value. In 1958, Tennis for Two dominated Visitor’s Day and drew attention to the oscilloscope at the Brookhaven National Laboratory; during the 1980s, Xerox PARC was known mainly for Maze War, which was offered as a hands-on demo to visitors.
Modern online games are played using an Internet connection; some have dedicated client programs, while others require only a web browser. Some simpler browser games appeal to demographic groups (notably women and the middle-aged) that otherwise play very few video games.
Media audiences’ characteristic has been changing in consequence of the social changes and development. They are becoming active and interact more than ever before. The players of the game in this phenomenon are just like the social formation in society. They are both self-regulating, creating their own social norms and subject to regulation and constraint through the code of the game and sometimes through the policing of the game by those who run it. The values that are policed vary from game to game. Many of the values encoded into game cultures reflect offline cultural values, but games also offer a chance to emphasise alternative or subjugated values in the name of fantasy and play. The players of the game at the new century are now apparently expressing their profound self through the game. When they can play with their anonymous status, they are found to be more confident to express and to step out from the position they have never been out from. It offers new experiences and pleasures based in the interactive and immersible possibilities of computer technologies.