a.k.a. interactive gaming, games, in-game communication, online gaming, video games

Gaming quite literally means "playing a game." Gaming can also refer to the gaming industry as a whole, which was built upon video and computer games. Some games are available on CD-ROM, while others are available directly online and can be played by more than one user, simultaneously. The software is usually based on traditional game categories, such as adventure, role-playing, or strategy.

Historical perspective:  In 2013, the NSA spy agency hacked into and infiltrated online games like World of Warcraft and Second Life to hunt for terrorists, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The NSA assumed that game features like fake identities, text chats, and the anonymous movement of money would appeal to militants. Agents began analyzing in-game communications as early as 2007, reportedly using virtual characters to snoop on targets and recruit informers. Nevertheless only three years later, gaming has officially gone mainstream: There were 2.6 billion gamers in 2016 as opposed to just 100 million in 1995.

The year 2016 was the first time that video games played on tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices generated more revenue than traditional video games played on desktop computers and video game consoles. According to, total global gaming revenue is estimated to reach $99.6 billion in 2016, up 8.5% from the year before.

NetLingo Classification: Technical Terms