A gamer is a devoted player of electronic games, especially on machines especially designed for such games and, in a more recent trend, over the Internet. Playing such games is known as gaming, a term first used as a synonym for gambling. An IDC Research document, Trends Today, Insights for Tomorrow, IDC's 2001 Videogame Survey, reported that the average gamer is a twenty-one year old male who devotes 9-10 hours a week to this hobby.

Pong, an electronic version of ping pong, was the first widely played video game. According to legend, when Atari first tested Pong in a California bar the machine the game was played on broke down from overuse after two days. Pong was a simple game: you moved a bar up and down to deflect the ball, which your opponent (either the machine or another player) would attempt to deflect on the other side. Since those early days, gaming has grown increasingly complex. There are many categories of games, including simple games such as Tetris, role-playing games (RPGs) such as Dungeons and Dragons, and hugely popular games such as Quake.

Because of the slow response time in playing games over the Internet, a new trend is to join a gathering of other gamers at a LAN party, in which each gamer typically brings their own computer and attaches it to a local area network set up for the occasion.

This was last updated in September 2005

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