Halo 4 sold $220 million in its first week, exceeding revenues of most box-office movies and this was driven significantly by the game’s massive online community using multi-player mode all around the world. It used to be that plumbers jumping on mushrooms and monkeys throwing barrels were the most technologically advanced pastimes that we could manage in our own homes. These games, in all their 16-bit glory, could easily consume the evening of any 6 year old and have parents with PhDs hanging their heads in frustration they could never seem to get past the first level.
As consoles have developed and broadband internet has become commonplace in people’s homes, gaming has broadened out to include a wider age group of users and whole communities that are connected over the internet. Games like this create a whole online world in which some games carry on indefinitely as different gamers continually log in from locations all around the world. These games, with their fast-moving sequences, increasingly in full HD, rely on a strong internet connection to make the gaming experience as immersive and close to real life as possible.
On the other hand, broadband is a fixed resource in any home and the demands of the online gamers need to be balanced with the rest of the household. Flat mates and family members will not be best pleased that internet experience has ground to a halt because the online gamer is busy “bringing the pain” to all and sundry over the internet.
Fortunately, smarter technology now means that home internet services can be resilient enough to cope. Online gaming may not be the best way to stay social with others in the home, but at least gamers can now avoid annoying others unnecessarily. The latest wireless standards such as wireless N and now 802.11ac mean that wireless internet can deliver greater speeds and performance for gaming than ever before. Being tucked away in abedroom far away from the home router is less of a problem these days as PowerLine technology can help extend the internet connection over the house’s existing electric wiring. No longer do gamers don’t need to worry about their connection cutting off just before they are about to capture the flag and revel in eternal online glory with their teammates.
When it comes to online gaming, it seems getting a decent internet connection in the home really can be all fun and games.