A parallel loop occurs when a player takes a meaningful action in the same real time environment as other players, and which may affect other players’ game experiences, but does not require their actions to determine a win. In simpler terms this means playing the same virtual world or continuing simulation as others, such as in massive multiplayer or social games.
Parallel loops are asynchronous but contemporal. Since they are the youngest kinds of loops to be explored by game makers, they do not yet have a conventional grouping. Confusingly, they are sometimes incorrectly labelled ‘asynchronous’, but the term applies to both single and parallel loops. What Games Are calls them parallel games.
Parallel games can attract mass audiences because the player can play at her own pace and in her own time while also forming social groups. Parallel games are thus usually persistent.