Types of interactive game platforms

Unit 36.1

Arcade


An arcade game is a large, usually coin operated machine which enables you to play certain games. The platform is found in a large wooden box which usually is painted in bright attractive colours in order to appeal to people and display a fun positive vibe. Arcade games can be bought for personal use however are mainly found in public places such as pubs and cinemas etc. places which have people and are fun . Nowadays most people play their favourite arcade games on computer systems and even phones and tablets. Over time marketers have incorporated arcade games into these devices to bring nostalgia to customers and therefore increased sales of these games.



Arcade games are rarely seen in entertainment places anymore and have been replaced by newer platforms therefore the games themselves have needed to evolve and be incorporated in modern day life. They have also evolved in order to provide variety to gaming, as usually an arcade platform has just the one game on however they are now adapted to provide multiple or new platforms such as a phone can provide several different games as well.

Image 1 shows how typical arcade games can be played on a newer more advanced platform.

Image 1:

Arcade games are very large and colourful to attract a lot of people, the consoles itself are housed in a large colourful box. The screen is usually black and white, this is because they are old and when they were invented there wasn’t the technology that there is today to provide coloured screens. The screens are known as a bezel, they often have silk screened artwork in the game. In order to control an arcade game the gaem comes with a joystick which in ables you to move forward and backwards and side to side and up and down. There is also usually 2 buttons on the keypad depending upon what game you are playing on. The 2 buttons are usually 'jump' and 'fire'.



Arcades are the home of many well-known games. They usually allow you to play games such as Miss Pacman, Space invaders and Frogger. Miss Pacman is a game that enables you to collect little dots and cherries and to keep away from the jelly creatures. You have to control the little yellow man in and out of a maze to do this and if a jelly creature touches you then you will die and have to restart the level again. Space invaders is a game where you play as a little spaceship trying to shoot other spaceships, over time those ships get closer to you. And if they touch you then you die and have to restart the level. Frogger is game that involves playing as a frog trying to cross a busy main road without getting run over.



Arcade games usually come with only one game on them meaning that they aren’t very versatile and can be boring. However you can nowadays buy arcade games for other platforms such as smartphones. The game itself comes with the arcade box that you need to buy.


Arcade games usually come with only one game on them meaning that they aren’t very versatile and can be boring. However you can nowadays buy arcade games for other platforms such as smartphones. The game itself comes with the arcade box that you need to buy.


Arcade games are bright and colourful and attract people to play the game, the appearance of the arcade game is one of its key advantages also another advantage is the fact that it makes money. Because it is coin operated the arcade game makes the person who owns the machine money and that is why it is usually found in places of entertainment such as pubs. However despite their advantages the arcade game does have its disadvantages for example you can usually only play one game which can be repetative and boring. Also they cost a lot of money because they are such large objects and they take up a lot of space especially if you were to buy it for yourself for personal use and have it in your house/ flat. It takes up a lot of space.


A brief timeline of the history of arcade games can be found in the link below.

Console

A console is a way of playing video games on a television screen. Consoles usually come in the form of a small box which has wires connected to the television that enables the game to be viewed and played on that screen. There are controllers that come with the console, usually you can get up to 4 controllers on a console however it depends on what type of console you get and also the number of controllers is something that has developed over time. Another thing that has developed over time is that the controllers used to be connected to the console by wires, now however the majority of controllers are wireless.


A console usually comes in either 2 colours- black or white but it depends upon what console you get as some can come in pink or blue etc. for example the Wii. The console itself always comes with 2 main buttons on it, the power button and the open/close button to insert and remove the disk. The controllers (which nowadays are usually all wireless) come in the same colour to your console unless bought separately. These usually have different buttons on them depending upon the type of console but are generally in the style of letters or symbols for example the Xbox has X,B,A,Y on its control pad however PlayStation has a triangle, square, circle and a cross on them. This is shown in the images below of the different controller types. All console controls have an arrow pad which usually provides movement for your character e.g. up, down, left and right. Newer and more evolved consoles such as the Wii have less buttons on the controller this is because the Wii is motion censored and therefore requires less buttons because you can control it through you actually moving the control.


A console is used by inserting a disk into the console itself and then from then on following the instructions on your TV screen and selecting options and then playing the game via the controller. Consoles are plugged into your television by the AV cables and occasionally the scart lead and the HDMI cable if you are wanting a better quality picture.



There are so many games in the world nowadays that can be played on consoles, there is an endless list because of the many varieties of consoles and the games in which each one beholds. The most common console games used in nowadays consoles are Call of Duty, Fifa and Grand Theft Auto. Call of Duty is a shooting game it involves playing as a person or a variety of people enduring tasks to do with the army and to complete shooting missions and killing various targets. Fifa is a football game where you can choose a team to play and then play a game of football, you can also play on manager mode and have a go at managing your own football team. Grand theft auto is a game designed to allow you to act as a virtual character. This means that you can live the life of a character and make them do what you want them to, generally your character is a gangster and you complete several gangster related missions for example robbing a bank in order to take you through the story mode of the character and to earn you more virtual money etc.

Consoles are generally pretty good gaming platforms, they are the definitely the most popular in todays society, this is generally because they are compact, provide lots and lots of games therefore making them versatile platforms and the fact that they are constantly changing and improving over time. There is very little negative points to say about consoles nowadays except generally as consoles improve they become more and more expensive for example the newest release of a console from Xbox is just under £500 which is incredibly expensive as well as taking into account the fact that you also have to buy the games to play on them and each game can cost up to £75 which is a ridiculous price to pay.


A detailed timeline of the history of consoles can be found below.

PC

A PC is quite simply a computer; it is not a specific brand or type of computer but simply just a computer. PC’s can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, however over time they have been adapted to become far more compact and therefore more efficient. Portability is also something that has been adapted over time and things like laptops can be carried around different places if games want to be played somewhere else. Gaming played on a PC is generally more difficult than a console simply because PC’s do not have a hand held controller as they are a multipurpose device and gaming is only one small aspect of a PC’s purposes. Instead of a controller in order to play games you must use the keyboard. The arrow pad typically controls the movement of the character you are playing as. If you are playing a 2 player game then because there are no consoles, to control the characters movement you should use the keys A, S, D, W. Also the other key that is predominantly used is the space bar; this typically controls either the character to jump or to shoot.

The platform of a PC is quite varied in the sense that games can be played on them in a number of routes. Firstly if the PC that you are aiming to play games on has an internet connection then games can be played on the internet. There are thousands of different websites out there that allow you to play thousands of games, usually for free. An example of a website that you can use in order to play games on would be Mousebreaker. Mousebreaker is a site that has short games or games that don’t require a lot of memory and has multiple types of games ranging from car racing games to sniper games. Games that you could play online could include parking perfection and Run. Parking perfection is a game that requires you to go through a series of levels by driving a car and parking it correctly. Run is a game where you play as a small alien character and have to reach the end of a tunnel by jumping over different gaps and avoiding falling down them. Games played over the internet provide the user with a large range of games to choose from and are usually free. However the majority of these websites carry a lot of adverts and usually can cause malicious activity to occur on your computer and interrupt with the speed of your computer. Also these games cannot be played head to head with specific people; you are allowed to compete with other peoples high scores however you cannot play at the same time against each other in the way that a console would provide. Another issue that can occur with playing internet games on a PC is that the quality of the game isn’t as great as a console game and they generally do not last for the same amount of time, they are usually short and are played in levels rather than a story mode game, this therefore means that you cannot have a saved point on these games and return to where you left off.

Another way in which you can play games on a PC is by inserting a disk. These disks are exactly the same as would be played in a console however they are made to be adapted to complement a PC and run more smoothly and efficiently on this sort of device. PC games are just the same as console games and there are none that are designed for PC alone. Sims is an example of a PC game. This game enables you to play as a character or several characters and make and control their lives for them, adapting them to how you wish. PC games are roughly around the same price of console ones if not slightly cheaper and can be played in the same way, these games do not require an internet connection therefore can be portable if played on a laptop and not a stationary computer. A downfall to playing these types of games on a PC is that you do not have the ease of the buttons as you do with a console for example console have a controller which is adapted for them to be more efficient for the user however as a PC doesn’t have the specific aim of gaming then a hand held controller is not something that is used when playing PC games and instead you must adapt yourself to the keyboard. Also because the games require quite a lot of storage space and because PC’s are used for other purposes as well then storage can become an issue if you don’t have enough of it. Also because of the storage and size of the game this can have an impact on the speed of your PC and therefore can make other tasks you use your PC for to become less efficient.

Mobile

Mobile platforms are games in which are played on a mobile device. Nowadays more or less has everyone has a mobile phone and therefore the majority of people will play on games on their phones. It is seen as a way to pass the time because you always have your mobile phone handy therefore when you are bored you just generally play on a game on it. Games on mobile phones have adapted dramatically dependent upon how mobile phones have also adapted. Now that touch phones are about the majority of games can only be played on mobile devices with a touch screen, this is because the majority of phones do include a touch screen and a touch screen provides a much easier and better gaming experience. With touch screens there are no specific buttons that need to be pressed to control anything you generally just touch the screen in the place that is desired or swipe etc. for the movement needed to play the game. Games such as angry birds and fruit ninja are popular games on touchscreen phones. Angry birds is a game which allows you to catapult a bird into objects and knock them down and fruit ninja is a game in which you swipe the screen to cut through the fruit that is thrown up in the air. However when there were no touchscreens games played on mobile devices where much more simple and included games such as Tetris (this is a game which requires you to move the coloured blocks into a space to save room) and snake (this is a game where you play as a snake and have to move through a circle to gain points) . They needed very little graphics and were simple so that users could play them easily. Usually on a game on a non-touchscreen phone the arrow keys would control the movement and the space key would control either to jump or shoot. However these types of games obviously would not have very good graphics, would not be very advanced and would be very tiresome repeating the same activity over and over again.

Mobile games on old devices used to be already on the device and could not be installed therefore there were very little games on these devices, possibly a maximum of 5. However nowadays there are thousands of games to be installed. These games can be downloaded for free or more advanced games can be purchased on the app store for apple devices or on the android market for android market. The ability to install a large amount and variety of different games is a massive advantage as it provides the user with more variety and the ability to play on many different games therefore preventing boredom. However by downloading soo many games you can use up too much off your phones memory and therefore affect the speed of your phone.

Television

Televisions are probably the game platform with the least variety of games to be played on it. There are only 2 ways really in which games can be played on a television. Those are interactive games and games on a DVD. Interactive games on a television can be played through the satellite provider such as sky. These games are played on the remote control, the controls vary however the arrow keys are usually the buttons in which control the movement. On the sky TV guide at the bottom of the list of options is games, the games that can be played from this varies massively to accommodate a wider target audience. The general games that can be played are adult related games such as bingo and poker or children related games such as cartoon themed games like Pokémon etc. Whilst these games accommodate a target range from children to adults they do however can have their disadvantages for example cost is a major issue as they can be very expensive to play and you aren’t actually aware that you are being charged because it’s not like buying a game in a shop where you are physically handing over money, on this occasion the money you are being charged is added to your telephone bill. The games are also fairly short and do not require a lot of time to complete. DVD games are games that the producers of the film have included for your added enjoyment however they are only really on children’s DVD’s. They can be played through the television using the remote control and controls vary depending upon which game however just like the interactive games the up and down arrows are usually used in order to control the movement. These games come with the DVD so are already bought however they are usually very simple games and do not really require any time or effort to complete.