A video game is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The word video in video game traditionally referred to a raster display device, but it now implies any type of display device that can produce two or three dimensional images. The electronic systems used to play video games are known as platforms; examples of these are personal computers and video game consoles. These platforms range from large mainframe computers to small handheld devices. Specialized video games such as arcade games, while previously common, have gradually declined in use. Video games have gone on to become an art form and industry.
The input device primarily used to manipulate video games is called a game controller, and varies across platforms. For example, a controller might consist of only a button and a joystick, while another may feature a dozen buttons and one or more joysticks. Early personal computer games often needed a keyboard for gameplay, or more commonly, required the user to buy a separate joystick with at least one button. Many modern computer games allow or require the player to use a keyboard and a mouse simultaneously. A few of the most common game controllers are gamepads, mouses, keyboards, and joysticks.
Games for Windows was a brand owned by Microsoft and introduced in 2006 to coincide with the release of Windows Vista and Windows 7. The brand represents a standardized technical certification program and online service for Windows games, bringing a measure of regulation to the PC game market in much the same way that console manufacturers regulate their platforms. The branding program is open to both first-party and third-party publishers.
Games for Windows was promoted through convention kiosks and through other forums as early as 2005. The promotional push culminated in a deal with Ziff Davis Media to rename the Computer Gaming World magazine to Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. The first GFW issue was published for November 2006, and the magazine was defunct as of 2008.