Browser Gaming

If you’re bored at work but want to look busy behind you’re computer screen, you’re in luck as online gaming is evolving.

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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  May 12, 2009

Casual gaming on the internet has taken off over the last few years with sites such as being abuzz with popular games like Baseball and Club Penguin. However, recent developments with titles such as the First Person Shooter Quake Live, strategy game Travian and other developments such as OnLive are appealing to the more serious gamer and providing end-users with more gaming choice on the ‘interweb’.

The much-anticipated beta version of Quake Live gives gamers the opportunity to compete with players from all over the world in a free to play arena shooter. It’s geared at the beginner and pro and has over 40 arenas and five game modes.

Quake Live isn’t the only full game you can play via your browser. There’s also Travian, which is a strategy game quite reminiscent of Age of Empires. Basically, you can choose to be a Roman, Gaul or Teuton village and then build your community into a prosperous and relatively industrialised city. You can then interact with other villagers (those who are connected online) and either co-operate with them or attack them.

Then there are developments that take online gaming to a new level. OnLive, which is due to be available in late 2009, is a service that will offer gaming on any PC or Mac through a special browser plug-in or on TVs through what is touted as an “inexpensive MicroConsole”.

OnLive is said to work over nearly any broadband connection (DSL, cable modem, fibre, or LAN). For Standard-Definition TV resolution, it will need a 1.5 Mbps connection while for HDTV resolution (720p60), it will require 5 Mbps. All you will then need is a PC running a current version of Windows XP or Vista, an Intel-based Mac running a current version of OS X or the MicroConsole if you wish to play games on your TV.

The titles thus far include games such as Burnout Paradise, Crysis Warhead, Prince of Persia, Bioshock, Tomb Raider: Underworld and F.E.A.R 2. Big game publishers have also jumped on board such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive Software, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, THQ Inc., Epic Games, Eidos, Atari Interactive and Codemasters.

All in all, the choices in terms of internet entertainment have become a lot more varied for those wanting to look busy at work while doing nothing. Move aside Facebook and Twitter; here comes browser gaming.

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