A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
The electronic systems used to play video games are called platforms. Video games are developed and released for one or several platforms and may not be available on others. Specialized platforms such as arcade games, which present the game in a large, typically coin-operated chassis, were common in the 1980s in video arcades, but declined in popularity as other, more affordable platforms became available. These include dedicated devices such as video game consoles, as well as general-purpose computers like a laptop, desktop or handheld computing devices.
The input device used for games, the game controller, varies across platforms. Common controllers include gamepads, joysticks, mouse devices, keyboards, the touchscreens of mobile devices, or even a person’s body, using a Kinect sensor. Players view the game on a display device such as a television or computer monitor or sometimes on virtual reality head-mounted display goggles. There are often game sound effects, music and voice actor lines which come from loudspeakers or headphones. Some games in the 2000s include haptic, vibration-creating effects, force feedback peripherals and virtual reality headsets.
In the 2010s, the commercial importance of the video game industry is increasing. The emerging Asian markets and mobile games on smartphones in particular are driving the growth of the industry. As of 2018, video games generated sales of US$134.9 billion annually worldwide, and were the third-largest segment in the U.S. entertainment market, behind broadcast and cable TV.