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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A browser game is a video game that is played on a web browser. It is distinct from other video and computer games in that it typically doesn't require any client-side software to be installed, apart from the web browser. There are games that rely solely on client-side technologies such as JavaScript or common plugins such as Java or Flash Player, whereas some employ server-side scripting. The latter case consists typically of (massively) multiplayer games or simple two-player board games where the user plays "the (server) computer" as an opponent such as early online versions of Reversi, whereas the client-side games are typically single-player games. A game played in a browser is often called a browser-based game (BBG).[1]


JavaScript-based games

With the development of Document Object Model Level 2 technologies in the late 1990s, it became possible to produce games that would run within a browser without the need of third-party plugins. These games were written using a combination of CSS, JavaScript and the Document Object Model, collectively termed as dynamic HTML (DHTML). Normally used for drop down menus and simple image rollovers, DHTML can be used to produce the animation effects required for sprite-based action games. Ajax programming techniques can also be used to further advance these types of games.

Plugin-based games

Plugin-based browser games require a form of web browser plugin to function. Some of these may include Java, Shockwave, Flash Player, Silverlight and Unity. Most modern browsers provide a method of installing such plugins if they are not installed.

Server-side games

A growing number of games are being created using server-side scripting, in a language such as PHP, ASP, Ruby, Perl, Python and Java. Games such as this typically only send the user's browser HTML code for interpretation. Some include Ajax to allow the user to see immediate responses to their online actions and make the games more visually appealing.

Comparison of browser game client technologies

The following table compares general information for notable browser game client technologies.

General information

Company / developer Platform License Website Installed base
Adobe Flash Adobe Systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris Proprietary 96.43% [2]
Adobe Shockwave Adobe Systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X Proprietary 52% [3]
Java Sun Microsystems Cross-platform GNU General Public License 81.17% [2]
JavaScript Netscape, Mozilla Foundation Cross-platform N/A N/A N/A
Microsoft Silverlight Microsoft Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X Proprietary 39.02% [2]
Unity Unity Technologies Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X Proprietary 1% [4]

See also


External links

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