The Music in Noise

The Importance of Libre Games - 2016-11-28

Games form a very important part of our lives, even if it's not necessarily computer games you do play some sort of games (although I would guess that most who read my blog would play some sort of computer game, mobile games included since mobiles are a type of computer). Games give us a way of spending some time that we have to kill, either alone or together with others. This means that freedom in gaming is extremely important.

Usually gaming is one of those industries where free software has not yet been able to gain a foothold, yet I believe it is a very important industry to promote free software in to be able to relieve those of us (stallmanites) who wish not to use any non-free software are left with almost no decent games to play in the free world (unless we want to play 20 different versions of the same FPS game, like AssaultCube, Xonotic, Red Eclipse, OpenArena, Alien Arena etc., basically Quake-based games). It's really hard to find good libre games mostly because the free software movement in gaming is still extremely young.

Because of this many free software advocates are tempted to either get a Windows drive, run a virtual machine with Windows on it, or install something like Steam on their computers. This is problematic since this is a lot of non-free software, instead there should be an effort to promote free software among game developers, and much more using free culture assets. This is one reason why I think that the DMUX project is so important, it's the creation of a new game (not another Quake remake) to promote free software in the gaming industry and prove that a free software model is possible in gaming (at least as long as a copyleft license is used).

To end this I would like to give a few examples of some good free/libre games that can be found in different genres. To start, the best FPS games I've found are Xonotic and Red Eclipse, AssaultCube is good if you have an old computer. Flare is a nice single-player RPG game that takes place in a fantasy world. I've heard that FreeCiv is a good Civilization-like game for TBS. Then there's 0AD and boswars are good RTS games. PlaneShift is a pretty good MMORPG game (it's also 3D!), also fantasy style, although they will soon be switching to the Unreal Engine, so I'd recommend looking out for that.

This is just a small list, and I'm sure there are many more and other genres I have not mentioned. If you know of any horror libre games then please e-mail me with the name and/or a link.

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