As Linux has grown in popularity the availability of Linux-based entertainment options has increased. From simple parlor games to fast-paced OpenGL First Person Shooters (FPS), there have been great strides recently in Linux gaming opportunities. In fact the advance of processor-devouring 3D games has helped drive improvements in computer technology in general.
Availability of gaming software that you can use with Linux is a mixed bag of sorts. A lot of the old software is still around (and is free), while newer software is available in demo form but costs some money to get a full version.
Some experts predict that gaming will be the software category that brings Linux into homes. The unfortunate truth is that many of the current “hot” titles still need to be coaxed onto Linux with some kind of Win32 emulation (such as Wine/Cedega). But even this is getting easier and more dependable. While the number of popular game applications is fairly limited at the moment, like everything else in Linux, more games are becoming available each day.
This chapter tries to examine the current state of gaming in Linux, including the basics on getting your gaming environment going, and hardware considerations for gaming. It describes the free games (mostly fairly simple X Window games) that come with Fedora or that can be easily downloaded. For running games that were created for other platforms, this chapter describes game emulators such as Cedega.
This chapter also discusses some popular commercial games that have demo versions available for Linux. If you like the demos, you can purchase these games, which run natively in Linux.