When we agreed to edit the theme on online
games for this Encyclopedia our first question
was, “What is meant by online games?” Scholars
of games distinguish between nondigital
games (such as board games) and digital games,
rather than between online and offline games.
With networked consoles and smartphones it is
becoming harder and harder to find players in
the wealthy industrialized countries who play
“offline” digital games. Most games developers
now include some element of online activity in
their game and the question is:What is the degree
to which the gameplay experience occurs online?
Is online gameplay more a multi...