The advancement of computer games has mirrored the improvements in computers themselves. In the 1970s, the first games for UNIX systems were visually simple and could run on slow, character-based terminal connections. Today, games that combine graphics, animation, and sound have helped drive improvements in computer technology in general.
Availability of gaming software useable with Red Hat Linux is similar to that of Linux publishing software. 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. Although the number of popular game applications is limited at the moment, like everything else in Linux, more are becoming available each day.
This chapter addresses 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 Red Hat Linux or that can be easily downloaded. For running games that were created for other platforms, this chapter describes game emulators such as WineX.
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.