When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.
Why do we all grow up hearing that it’s important to save but no one ever seems to take that advice? Most people are in debt, that’s just a fact. Think of what debt really does mean. It means that we are committing money we haven’t made yet to things we have already bought or consumed. So we are always playing catch up with our finances. We make a certain amount of money every week but it never seems enough for us. Even if we make good money we still can’t control it. Why is that?Credit cards are probably the biggest vehicle that drives us into debt. Notice I did not blame our debt on the cards, they are just the transportation we choose to take us to Debt City. Credit cards aren’t bad, they can be bad for us because they are convenient. We can’t blame our card because we signed up for it. So first let’s just take responsibility that we are the reason we are in debt and go from there.I have a credit card and I use it. Like most people I have a family and sometimes things come up. Expensive things. Things I can’t pay for because I’m supporting a family of five on one income. Fair enough, I have explained my situation just as anyone else can justify why they have a card. However I have realized I don’t want to live this way forever. If you have debt you have stress. Join me in accepted that this is where I am but not where I will stay.I had a light bulb moment the other day and want to share it with you. First you need to know that I work in a financial institution. I was talking to a customer who was making an LOC payment which means line of credit payment. A line of credit is exactly what it sounds like. It is usually a larger amount of money the bank has offered the customer to use just like a credit card. It works like a credit card in the fact that you can use as much of the limit as you want and make monthly payments the same as a credit card. So if you learn nothing else from this article you’ve learned something about a type of bank loan. I knew my teaching experience would come in handy someday. Back to the point this man was well into his fifties or even sixties so I figured he had a better grasp on his financials than I did. So as he’s making his payment I make a comment about how long until he paid it off. He responded, “I’ll be paying on this until I die, nobody can get ahead these days.” Really, is that true or is it a choice? I know it’s not true because of where I work I see people who are his age who have intentionally built a savings. This made me very determined to NOT be where this man is when I am his age.Alright so back to credit cards. Right now I need a credit card but I am being smart about it. Do you know that with all of the credit card companies fighting over whose card you are going to use that some of them are offering 0% for 12 or even 18 months. If we are going to use credit cards we need to at least be smart enough to use them wisely. None of us have any business using a credit card that is costing us 10%-25% to use. That’s where the credit card companies make you pay literally. So if we are going to play the credit card game, master the game. Know what cards are offered and by what companies. You can use this thing called Google to find credit card promos decide which one is the best for you. Notice I didn’t say ten. Having ten credit cards is just a train wreck waiting to happen if it hasn’t happened yet. Limit yourself because the more cards you have the more you will be tempted to use them. Having too many cards is not good for you or for your credit score. Use one or two cards that offer you the best value. They will be easier to keep up with when making payments which decreases late payments which leads to lower credit scores. Control your cards, don’t be controlled by them.So how should you use a credit card? Sparingly, that’s how. Every time we use a card we add a little more stress to our lives. Using a card almost feels good at the time because it didn’t come out of our bank account and we still have cash in our pocket. The flip side is when that bill comes and you did set aside anything to pay it. It is not a magic card. Use it when you need to use it. If you pay with cash or debit card you may not feel like you’re getting away with something but come the end of the month you won’t have to deal with that extra bill.Credit cards are a part of my life, I am on a journey that will take me where credit cards are a part of my past. I am where you are at. I don’t want to be here any longer. We have to grow and change to become what we want to be and overcome what we do not want to be.