Gaming covers a broad section of entertainment, from simple amusement to complex gaming systems. Typically, the term "Gaming" applies to the act of playing video games or gambling, but the term can also apply to any action where there are players trying to achieve goals, such as sports, board games, and augmented reality games. Often, the player must achieve the goal using a rule or set of rules. As an example, Jumping Rope could be defined as a game, where the person jumping (the player) must jump over the rope as many times as they can (the goal) without interrupting the string of jumps (the rule).
Gaming, in one form or another, has been around for a very long time. By 4000 BCE, artifacts suggest Chinese participated in sporting events. The earliest recorded board gaming dates back to 2600 BCE with a surprisingly complex board game called "Ur". With the invention of computers, gaming took a leap to the virtual world with Video Games. While many video games existed on computer platforms prior to its release, Pong is largely credited with being the first video game to bring gaming into the home.
Traditionally, gaming takes place during times of leisure, often as a way to relax or unwind. Because of this, it is often seen as the opposite of work. However, gaming can play a major role in research and education. Often games serve as an excellent medium for exposing human psyche and presenting difficult material in fun and interesting ways. For example, the US Military often uses simulation games to train its personnel, and simulations are often used to test and train Pilots and Drivers. Gaming also can be synonymous with work. Through professional avenues, for example, major league sports, poker, and pro video gaming, many people are able to claim gaming as their full time, high paying job.
While gaming technically covers everything from skipping rocks to playing chess to LARPing (Live Action Role Playing - where players dress as characters and perform actions in the real world instead of move pawns or avatars in an imaginary one), today, the term typically refers to the the act of playing modern Video Games, Card Games, Board Games, and Gambling. In these areas, a community often accumulates around gaming, to actively participate in the games, discuss the game, and share common interests around the game. In this sense, gaming is often a major source of social community, and with the proliferation of the Internet, gaming reaches millions of players each day.
Overall, gaming is a broad topic that goes far beyond the Pinball Machine and the One Arm Bandit. It covers everything from the most simple game of tag to the playing most advanced computer game, and plays a major role in human sociology.