ALL THIS IS done in HTML5, by the way!” exclaimed Steve Jobs, the mind and face of the Apple success story, as he walked the audience through the new HTML5-powered ad system at the iPhone OS 4.0 Keynote, receiving cheers, laughs, and applause in return. The recent developments in open, standards-based web technologies are moving the web forward at an increasing pace, and Apple’s embrace of HTML5, including the blocking of Flash on all iOS devices, is just another symbol of the power of this movement. Although Apple’s love for HTML5 might in part be fueled by business motives, it is clear that the open web is on the move and exciting things are happening on an almost daily basis, making it an exciting time for web and game developers alike.

The world of web and game development wasn’t always this exciting, however. Building games for the browser could be a frustrating experience and has traditionally meant having to choose between using feature-rich plugin-based technologies or settling for a more low-tech approach, trying to fit the square peg of HTML and JavaScript into the round hole of game development. Disagreeing or downright broken implementations of various standards have only made the consistent and predictable environment of, for instance, Flash more appealing.

By opting for plugins like Flash, developers and game designers gain access to frameworks that are suitable for advanced game development, featuring dynamic graphics, sounds, and even 3D, but doing ...

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