An opponent in a video game that is controlled by the computer or machine, but that may otherwise or might plausibly be controlled by a human player in other circumstances.

The computer player has been known to do some pretty stupid stuff at times due to poor programming. Sometimes game developers balance out the computer player's stupidity by giving it the ability to cheat or by programming it to cheap out. Usually this just adds to the human player's frustration at the computer player's inadequacy, though.

Good computer players are key to the creation of a predominantly 2-player video game that is just as fun vs. the computer as it is vs. other people. After all, one of the original selling features of some video games was the ability to play with the computer when friends weren't available.

Related terms:
Artifical Intelligence (AI)