Saturday, November 29, 2008

Desperately awaiting The Orange Box (Half Life 2) games for GNU/Linux

Open Letter to VALVE, the makers of the awesome Half-Life games:

Hi there. Hope things are going well in Valve/Steam-Land. You guys have some awesome products... nice job!!

I wanted to tell you that I was reading an article about how you may release the steam engine to us GNU/Linux users. This way, we too can enjoy your games as well as the Win-users do.

I know, I know... I also see that it's relatively easy to run VALVE games on GNU/Linux using Wine, but that doesn't interest me, because in my eyes that supports monopoly.

Personally, I think all games should be native to GNU/Linux FIRST, because GNU/Linux is the Universal Operating System and is not restricted from being installed inside any other Operating System as an engine for the application. Many other types of technology use the GNU/Linux Universal Operating system this this way, so why shouldn't computer games? Why should I have to pay a tax to Microsoft? I don't use their OS at home. I wrote a small blog entry about how GNU/Linux would be the ultimate gaming platform.

So today I was checking out the Steam Store, and I was very impressed with the reasonable prices you are offering your games for. These games seem like a great value.

I was SO CLOSE to buying some of your Half Life 2 games... But sorry, I didn't buy them.... I just couldn't bring myself to paying the Wind0ws tax by supporting a game that is native to it. Also, I truly don't believe Monopoly is a good thing for anyone.

I have a computer that can run 3d games, I just recently purchased a Dell Inspiron 530n and added in an NVIDIA 9400GT 3d graphics card... see my writeup of it here.

Now I just need to purchase some 3d games for the holidays for my shiny new computer.

I would really like to purchase Half Life 2 for GNU/Linux. Please let me know when this is available.

In the meantime, I guess my dollar vote will instead go to the GNU/Linux native 3d game Yo!Frankie from the Blender Institute.

Thanks! Cheers! and here's looking forward to the Future of GNU/Linux and VALVE!!

Shannon VanWagner
GNU/Linux Enthusiast and Technology Professional

Looking to help out? Sign the petition to get Steam available for GNU/Linux here. Also, checkout any other GNU/Linux related petitions here. If we can organize the millions who use and promote GNU/Linux, we can get it done.

Congratulations on your Freedom!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Best PC Game Platform Ever (GNU/Linux)

As an avid GNU/Linux user and IT Professional, I have personally observed how versatile this magnificent Operating System can be.

GNU/Linux drives a multitude of different hardware ranging from embedded devices, to various types of networking devices, to small computer systems, to servers, to supercomputers, and beyond.

GNU/Linux truly is a Universal Operating System, not only because it can be installed on just about any type of hardware, but also because of the freedom(in license) it offers to use, modify, and redistribute it to humans everywhere.

So, today while having a "trip and bump my head" moment, I thought of an idea that would make it possible to deliver more games to more users than ever.

Here's the idea: All PC Games should first be built to work with the GNU/Linux Universal Operating System. Then, since it is relatively easy, the game would simply have an installer that would install GNU/Linux on the host platform and to enable the gamer to be played on the host. An example of this "GNU/Linux installed as a program" system is already being used in Ubuntu, it's called wubi (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer). The wubi enables users to install GNU/Linux as a program into the Windows OS.

Since GNU/Linux is Universal, this could open up the game to just about any platform because the user would simply use the game installer to install GNU/Linux along with the game to their system.

Running games in this fashion would put an end to the need for PC game makers having to port their games to different host Operating Systems because all games would be built to work in the GNU/Linux Universal Operating System.

Using this type of system would revolutionize the PC gaming industry, and broaden the market for the game because it could run on many different types platforms. Increasing the availability of the games would equate to increased sales of the games. It's sort of like the example of RAMBUS RAM vs. SDRAM. Since SDRAM was a more open standard than RAMBUS, more hardware mfgrs were able to make SDRAM and so it became cheaper and more widely used to the point that it snuffed out RAMBUS alltogether. Another example would be Henry Ford's mentality of making cars more affordable and selling many more cars than when they were only available to the rich.

This method of making games would also help to protect gaming systems from becoming obsolete, which would be beneficial for both the gamer and the game maker.

Imagine the possibilities that can become reality if games weren't tied to one specific Operating System and instead were run from the GNU/Linux Universal Operating System.

So perhaps GNU/Linux should be renamed to (GNU)niversal Linux Operating System.

Go Freedom!! Go GNU/Linux!!

Also shared the idea with:
Mark Shuttleworth
Dell Ideastorm here