Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

10.3. How do interactive games work?

You become a participant (a player or observer) by utilizing a client program, which in turn accesses the appropriate game server. The client program handles your interaction with the game and your opponents. Its duties might include presenting your view of the game, keeping score, tallying your wins and losses, facilitating chatting with others, and so on.

Once connected to a server, you can play, watch, or kibitz with other users. A server usually has several games running simultaneously.

As with any Internet facility, there are usually public clients you can access via Telnet (the TCP/IP remote login facility) to check out a particular game. Your site may offer a local copy of the client program (this is likely if you use a public-access Internet provider rather than your school's or business' computer).

If you are likely to become a frequent player of any given game, you'll probably want to get a copy of the appropriate client program on your system, if it isn't already installed. There are several reasons for this, including not consuming someone else's resources unnecessarily, having better system response, and, most important to you, making it possible to take advantage of your local system's graphics, color, point-and-click tools, and other user interface features.

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