Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A loading screen is a picture shown by a computer program, often a video game, while the program is loading or initializing. Loading screens that disguise the length of time that a program takes to load were common when computer games were loaded from audio tape, a process which could take upwards of 20 minutes. Nowadays, most games are loaded from optical disk which is very fast, but games still include loading screens to disguise the amount of time taken to initialize the game in RAM.
Loading screen variations
The loading screen does not need to be a static picture.
Some games have even included mini-games in their loading screen, notably Skyline Attack for the Commodore 64. The game Air Combat also has a loading game - the mini-game can be accessed using a cheat code.
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