Linux Gaming Roundup

Let’s see, you have successfully gotten your computer running the your latest Linux distribution of choice, but you are still missing the finger-twitching action of a good video game. You could dual boot your machine, but that just seems wrong to some, and a nuisance to others; you could run a virtualized instance of Windows, but that might not give you the power you need to run the latest in 3D tech, or you could realize that if you want to play games on Linux, probably so have others, and there’s bound to be some type of “pure” solution.

Well there is! There are a bevy of Free and/or Open Source games that run on Linux-based operating systems, but like all things Linux, there are some caveats. First, you will not be installing brand-name, big-publisher games on your Linux box for any solid gaming experience. Sure, Wine can run some games, and version 1.2 supposedly has good DirectX 9 support, but in my personal experience Wine has never been as easy to use as some make you want to believe.

Secondly, the games you find on Linux, much like other open source and free apps, tend to be of the “scratch an itch” philosophy, whereby an individual or team wanted to prove something to themselves first and provide it as entertainment to others second. Though the distance between the two desires can sometimes be so miniscule, and in some cases actually reversed, I still notice this in a lot of games. For those who appreciate gaming as an art form, you might actually find yourself in better company amongst these FOSSers, but if you want extremely polished presentation and user experience, well, Linux in general might not be for you… yet.

Finally, even amongst “finished” games you may find the “roll your own” philosophy at work. This is where a game is actually more of a game framework, and you are expected to write levels, craft scenarios and in general construct the actual content of a game before actually playing it. To some, those who may prefer old school dungeon-mastering over questing, you will fit in quite nicely amongst this FOSS crew, and the more content your produce, the happier the consumer-type gamers will be, allowing the community to grow.

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One response to “Linux Gaming Roundup

  1. It sucks that linux is limited to what games are native but thats why linux has wine ^_^ but it would be nice to port more games over to linux native.