With more than 500 channels of television, videos on demand, and thrilling multicast online games, the future entertainment world is all about IPv6. The online gaming market projections are more than $20 billion by 2007.
This amusing networked entertainment based on digital technology requires large scale routing, addressing, and auto configuration. But the current IPv4 hardly provides the infrastructure required for peer-to-peer online gaming due to address depletion.
IPv6’s entry has presented the Internet gaming industry with many opportunities and challenges. The main challenge is the time consuming transition phase. It requires several years for complete transition from IPv4 to IPv6. As online games utilize the complete peer-to-peer model of TCP/IP, they require scaling of related products and services to geographically distributed players. Provision must be provided for authentication, privacy, and payment with support to both fixed and mobile networking. IPv6 makes this technically feasible.
There are many massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) which involve the interaction of a large number of players in a virtual world. Some of them are very popular online games that can be deployed through client-server system architecture. Based on the number of players and the system architecture, a MMORPG can run on multiple servers. The game, EVE Online is reported to have accommodated around 20,000 players in August 2007.
Examples and Links
Examples for IPv6 enabled games are given below.
Mobile v6 network
Mobile IP has the capability to retain the same IP address during mobility and maintain an uninterrupted network and application connectivity. IPv6 has created a turning point in mobile computing. Its address space helps in deploying Mobile IP in any kind of environment. It does not require upgrade in infrastructure. It enables mobile nodes to work with other nodes that do not support mobility.
Mobile IPv6 has three key components.
- Home Agent – It is an Agent that establishes an association between Mobile node’s home IP address and its Care of Address (CoA). It maintains the list of CoA and ensures that only the traffic with Mobile Node as its destination is intercepted. It advertises itself in the home network with the Mobile Node’s address so that all traffic addressed to the Mobile Node is drawn. It also ensures that all intercepted traffic is tunneled to the Mobile Node’s current location.
- Mobile Node – An IP host maintains network connectivity using home IP address Correspondent Node – A Destination IP host having session with Mobile Node.
Mobile IPv6 Header is extended from the existing IPv6 packet structure. New extension header is added along with new routing header type and new destination option.
Mobility Header will be used by Mobile Node, Home Agent, and Corresponding Node.
Destination Option Extension Header has the Home address option.
Routing Header allows the packet to be routed from corresponding node to mobile node.
There are three possible Mobile IP implementations and they are
- Mobile IP with Triangular Routing – In this type of implementation, the Mobile Node sends a packet with its home address and the packet is delivered to the Correspondent Node. Then the packet is sent back to the sender address. The packet delivered to Home link is intercepted by the Home Agent and tunneled to the Mobile Node.
- Mobile IP with optimized (reverse) routing – In this implementation, the Correspondent Node communicates more efficiently with the Mobile Node if its care-of address is known.
- Mobile IP with collocated care of address – In this implementation, the collocated care-of address uses the address of the Mobile Node provided by DHCP as a care-of address, instead of a Foreign Agent’s IP-address. The Foreign Agent is not present.
An ad-hoc network is a local area network with wireless or temporary plug-in connections. Some of the network devices become a part of the network only during a communication’s session.
Ad-hock network requires minimal configuration and offers quick deployment. It is used in emergency situations. It quickly connects several computers for sharing files and printers. It permits sharing an Internet connection with a group of people. It allows playing multiplayer computer games.
IPv6 Most popular types of ad-hoc networks are
- Wireless Ad-hoc Network – Its communication links are wireless. When the nodes compete in accessing the shared medium, there will be collisions. So, cooperative wireless communications are used to improve immunity to interference. Packet radio network is the earliest wireless ad-hoc network sponsored by DARPA.
- Mobile Ad-hoc Network – It has rapidly changing network topology and its nodes are mobile. As network is decentralized, nodes perform the routing functions. Vehicular ad-hoc network used for communication between vehicles is the best example for Mobile ad-hoc network.
- Wireless ad-hoc sensor network – It has a number of sensors spread across a geographical area with each sensor having wireless communication capability and some level of intelligence. The sensor network to detect Chemical or Biological attacks is the best example for Wireless ad-hoc sensor network.