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Off-topic but awesome


I am a casual gamer for those of you out there who may not know me.  The other day I retweeted a list of games for Linux, my OS of choice, and in that list there were links to open-source Quake 3 Arena clones.  I have played Quake for years and I played Doom before that.  Between work and the family I do not have a lot of time to play games but sometimes, in between coding, it is therapeutic to go and blow some stuff up.  The only problem with the open-sourced implementations of this is if you do not own the original game you will not have the WADs for the maps.  While there are ways around this, I have gotten legit in my old age so this didn’t really appeal to me.

Then out of the blue, I remembered my friend Sean told me to check out Quake Live a while back.  Some of you may be familiar with this but for those who are not, Quake Live is an implementation of Quake 3: Arena in a web browser.  There is a plugin to install, but the game is free to play and is supported by ads.  They offer a subscription where you can play ad free, but I don’t mind  waiting to play.

As a web developer I tend to feel pretty spiffy when I do something cool with just a web browser, but Quake Live just nails it.  Running in full-screen mode it is easy to forget the game is running in a web browser.   It has all the options you would expect: key bindings, player models, network play.  The first time you play it you will have to install the plugin and then wait a few minutes while it downloads the game data (presumably the map packs, etc).  The one thing I did notice, and this might be a Linux thing, all the opponent character models appear to be the same for me when I am playing.  However, when you are spamming rockets they all look the same.

This is definitely a blast from the past (no pun intended) and my new form of anger management.  I still like to hop on WoW every now and then, but when you just need a few minutes of  “relaxation” this is great.

Check it out: http://www.quakelive.com

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