Chapter 5. Play Games

Even with all it has going for it, Linux is a tough sell to some people because of one thing: games. Most kids and teenagers—and many adults, too—are into playing games on their computers. A lot of kids these days take their Playstation with them everywhere and are glued to their Gameboy Advance, and adults from the ages of 20 to 35 often aren’t much different. In recent years, these “gamers,” as they’re called in the computer world, have helped propel the computer gaming industry to sales greater than those of the entire music industry. It was their dollars that took the opening-day sales of Halo 2 for the Xbox to over $125 million, making it the single biggest one-day moneymaker in entertainment history—even bigger than hit movies such as Spiderman.

This chapter introduces you to the world of gaming on Linux. It’s a fairly mixed bag, with some excellent options in the classic game space, but a dearth of high-end commercial games. That doesn’t mean that playing games on Linux can’t be entertaining, but it does mean that you won’t be able to play all the games you want.

Many Linux users are in the prime gaming demographic—males between the ages of 14 and 35. Linux users who aren’t satisfied with their Linux game options sometimes maintain a second computer just to play games, concentrate their game playing on game consoles such as Playstation and Xbox, or set their system to dual-boot Windows and Linux—when they want to play games, they boot into Windows, but ...

Get Test Driving Linux now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.