How to Play Online Games - dummies

How to Play Online Games

By Nancy C. Muir

Windows includes many games, and you can find more online. Games you’ll find online may be single-player games such as solitaire and Sudoku. Other games are muli-player, such as those where you enter a sophisticated virtual world and take on an online personality, called an avatar. In such games, the goal is often to acquire virtual money and goods, or to solve some mystery by interacting with other virtual players.

Search in your browser using keywords such as card games or chess to find online games. Consider safety and your comfort level with the computer before choosing which games to play.

  • Safety first! If you play a multi-player game, you’re most likely playing games with strangers, so avoid giving out personal information or choosing a revealing username. If somebody is inappropriately emotional or abusive while playing the game, leave the game immediately and report the player to the site owner.

  • In some games, you can play against a computer; in others, you’re playing against other people that the game site matches you up with. You can usually request a level of play, so if you’re a beginner, you can feel comfortable that you’ll be matched with other beginners.

  • To play some games, you might need additional software, such as Adobe Shockwave Player or similar software to enable your laptop to play animations.

    If you see a message on a game site pointing you to such software, be sure you’re downloading software from a reputable source that has a good privacy policy for users — and credentials like a Better Business Bureau seal so you don’t download a virus or spyware.

  • Many games are free, though some require that you enter information about yourself to become a member. Read the fine print carefully when signing up.

  • Many game sites offer tutorials or practice games to help you learn and improve, such as the Tutorial page for Legends of Norrath, a multiplayer online role-playing game.


  • Some games allow several players to icipate at once, so you might have to be on your toes! In addition to manipulating game pieces or characters, you might also be able to communicate with other players using instant messaging or even voice messages.

  • Online gaming can be addictive, so be as moderate in your playing online as you are offline. Remember that these games are just for fun.

If you aren’t comfortable making the moves required when playing games with your laptop’s touchpad or other style of built-in mouse, it might be worth investing in a wireless mouse. Many highly portable models exist; they are easy to connect, use, and carry with you on the road.