General Question

Carol's avatar

Accuracy in computer terms.

Asked by Carol (731points) February 4th, 2009

I have a computer game that I just purchased on a disc. I put the disc in, it either stays in or gets downloaded to my computer. I play the game without outside “interference.” I have no idea how I’m doing vis a vis rate of progression.

What if I have a different hardware disc, that in addition to the former, interfaces with another computer through the internet and that other computer changes its plays depending on what I do on my end. What would you call that? Its something that goes beyond the limits of my interacting with a software program on a disc that sits statically in my computer. Are they both referred to as “software” and “programs” even though there is an additional element in the second game?

Surely, there is a distinction between the two and word definitions that signify that difference. They’ve both been referred to as programs but that’s a huge umbrella that doesn’t tell us much. With one game, I’m interacting only with the software that’s on the disc. There is no other computer, nor is there a person. With the other game, my responses, each nuance of a response from me, goes somewhere…to another program or computer over the net. That thing analyzes what I’ve just done and calculates how it should respond back. It sends its responses back to me and so it goes….over and over . There’s a cadence…a feeling to it that I don’t get from just interacting with the information I just downloaded onto my own computer. It feels like a much richer, more dynamic system.

Is there any vocabulary that can signify this distinction? If the first is called software or a software program, is there any term that would be more descriptive of the second kind of game?

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6 Answers

TaoSan's avatar


introv's avatar

Software is itself an umbrella term divided up into applications and operating system. Games could be described as being a subset of application software. So it seems you are looking for a definition of a set of games, not of software, but your long definition is in itself not exactly clear to me: online multiplayer, network aware, distributed.

Does what you are describing actually exist and what is it or are you trying to define a concept?

kullervo's avatar

If there is no human user at the 2nd computer than you are still only dealling with software and an Artificial Intelligence. The AI whether remote or on your local machine is still software but depending on what you are trying to achieve with the remote computer it may be considered cloud/distributed computing or client/server as already stated. If the other system is being updated by another user – perhaps in response to another user also connected to this remote system and this in turn affects your interactions then you are dealing with a multi-user application that can be either co-operative or competitive and would be considered a remote hosted mutli-user interactive application. Still a name will not adequately describe it until you have a specific application for this interaction – for example if mutliple users were connecting to a persistent world hosted on the remote machine and were able to interact with each other and the software/environment on the remote machine then you would likely describe this as a Massively Multi Player Role Playing Game (MMORPG). If the same sort of network in that multiple users connect and interact with the remote system but not with each other and it is to manage business applications that are kept in sync with multiple devices you might call this cloud computing. Basically you need to define what the action is more specifically to name it but what you describe could be many things and naming it would define it further and therefore would no longer be accurate if that was not the intended purpose of the software.

cwilbur's avatar

Did this not answer your question?

TaoSan's avatar


It seems not :)

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