To think it was only a few years ago when most of us were stuck with Solitaire, MineSweeper and Hearts. There’s nothing wrong with those games to be sure, however with internet access being more widespread and the connection speeds increasing every day, the average computer user now can play thousands of games online. And yes, those three classics are still available.

Most online game sites allow you to play by using Flash, which is a type of software that allows animation and interaction. Flash is the same program responsible for a lot of the flashy banners and signs you see on websites as well. Most browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera can be enabled with Flash, so usually it’s a question of how fast your connection speed is that determines whether you can play these games.

Most people are now using DSL or better to connect to the internet, so the chances are good that if you are reading this right now you could be playing a game. Game sites traditionally organize their games into different sections. For example standard ones are Action/Adventure, Strategy, Puzzle, Fighting, Racing, etc. Games based on cartoons or even older systems are also popular, such as arcade classics like Galaga and Asteroid.

Of course there are also the immensely popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG). You’ve certainly heard of World of Warcraft (WoW), a game that is played by over 11 million people worldwide. Players log on from anywhere and can interact with each other to complete quests or missions, in addition to trading items and currency. In fact entire economies have been built around buying and selling virtual items in exchange for real money.

If the idea of joining a MMORPG sounds daunting, then stick to the tried-and-true classics and simple flash games available everywhere.

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