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Ask Slashdot: What Video Games Keep You From Using Linux? 951

skade88 writes "Everyone knows content is king. Many of us use Windows or OS X at home instead of Linux because the games we love just are not available on Linux. With Steam moving forward for a Linux launch, I would like to hear from the Slashdot community on this topic. What are the game(s) you cannot live without? If they were available in Linux would you be happy to run Linux instead of Windows or OS X?"
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Ask Slashdot: What Video Games Keep You From Using Linux?

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  • by dremspider ( 562073 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:40PM (#42034999)
    The real question should be... what games do you want now, and in the future. Just getting all games to work that I want now doesn't really help me when Awesome cool game 15 comes out and I really want it. This is coming from a person who has been using Linux for years.
  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:41PM (#42035011) Homepage

    Aside from a couple of great indie games, the majority of the games I've enjoyed in the past few months are not available for Linux.

    The opposite question would have a much shorter answer.

  • Microsoft Office (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:41PM (#42035025)

    To be honest - Microsoft Office. Most of the people I communicate with use MsOffice products, and yes, I have heard of OpenOffice and LibreOffice, however, their cross-compatibility is not perfect. This is a no-go - when I send a customer an important document - I have to be sure everything is looking good / professional and that the other side has no issues with what I sent them. When I receive a document from a client - I have to be sure I get exactly what the customer sent. Sometime PDF is not a valid solution. LibreOffice does not promise it to me, yet (in my current opinion).

  • Can't Game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:42PM (#42035047) Homepage Journal
    No attention span. I pick up a box in the store, feel the hours sucked vampirically from my body into the box. I put the box down.
    Disclaimer: it's really all the fault of Sid Meier's Civilization series.
  • by buddhaunderthetree ( 318870 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:44PM (#42035063)

    I'm really done with computer gaming. Now if you want to talk about how Netflix keeps me from using Linux, I'll be glad to talk.

  • by ihaveamo ( 989662 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:44PM (#42035069)

    Hell, I like to make things run on WINE, that's a game in itself!, but untill Joe Sixpack can drop in DVD / Download-and-play-with-one-click, LINUX gaming will struggle. (Remember even WINDOWS gaming is too hard for a lot of people, with DX updates, various runtimes, licensing, etc,etc .. thus, IMHO, console sales)

  • by DarksideCoatiMundi ( 2777343 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:55PM (#42035193)
    Half Life 3. If that came out on just Linux I would switch to Linux and never look back. And if they brought a new release of Alpha Centauri to it too, the honey pot would just grow that much sweeter.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:05PM (#42035331)

    The question wasn't "are you personally missing drivers for Linux", "do you feel that normal people could install Linux", or "is it important for all operating systems to have the familiar Windows interface". The question was which games would need to be available for Linux in order for you to switch to Linux. Or, if you prefer, if the games you need were available for Linux, would you run Linux instead of Mac OS X or Windows.

  • by spaceman375 ( 780812 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:23PM (#42035555)
    We all vote for Civilization. Most people are holding back just because they realize lifetimes are finite.
  • Re:none (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:29PM (#42035607) Homepage

    Can't speak for OP, but as someone in exactly the same situation, the answer is the same as "what do you do if a game isn't available for the particular console you own?" I don't play it. I can't even keep up with all the good games that are available for my console. I'm certainly not concerned about the ones that aren't.

    Many years ago, I dual-booted Windows so I could play games there, but once I got my first console (a PS1), that became more effort than it was worth. I haven't used Windows since.

    Of course, I do hear that its possible to play some PC games under Wine, but I really haven't bothered to try.

  • A lot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by __aardcx5948 ( 913248 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:36PM (#42035675)

    Steam on Linux will be nice.

    Mostly it's Battlefield 3 and the likes (new games with shiny graphics and DRM), they won't work well or at all.

  • Re:Dual Boot! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aaqvdr516 ( 975138 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:41PM (#42035733)

    If you can accomplish 100% of your task in Windows 7 and 80% in Linux, then why not just stay in Windows? **

    **These numbers are from my own use. Debian partition on my own drive.

  • by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:49PM (#42035805) Homepage

    Drivers, installed base, drivers, familiar windows interface, drivers, most users can barely power their machine on much less install linux, drivers, forget installing linux software...see comment before the last comment, drivers, lack of vendor support, and drivers.

    Oh did I mention drivers?

    You play weird video games. Personally, I like playing the "my computer works already, I didn't have to hunt down twenty drivers from twenty different sites and make sure I kept them all up to date individually" game, that's why I already use Linux (and have for nearly a decade).

  • by aztracker1 ( 702135 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:57PM (#42035885) Homepage
    Most of the older APIs do proper relay to newer ones, and abstractions like SDL take care of a lot of that. For me, the biggest detraction, is I just yesterday installed the latest LMDE on my desktop... then, when it came around to installing the nvidia drivers, I added the additional repositories (checkboxes in synaptic) after install, no gui... Sorry, it it's a pretty big deal.. also, audio didn't work, but that's another issue... My system is about 2 years old now, using a 1st gen Core i7 with a more recent nVidia GTX 660 Ti... Honestly, it's a pain... will probably give it a try with debian proper, and then ubuntu... if I can't have my hardware working accelerated in Linux, gaming is out anyway, not that I game much. Just the same, I had less trouble running a hackintosh install than Linux sometimes. I like Linux.. use it for servers, non-gui, but as a primary desktop it's problematic.
  • by wmbetts ( 1306001 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:04PM (#42035943)

    There's nothing solid about it. The emulation is garbage compared to the native clients.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:10PM (#42035997) Homepage

    The silly idea that any one particular game would prevent a transition to Linux is just that silly. It is a whole library of games collected over years that keeps "DUAL BOOT" going. Windows the toy operating system for fun and games and Linux for business.

  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:21PM (#42036121) Homepage

    No, not games, but I've never known anyone that stayed away from Linux as a primary platform because of games. I have known many, though, that needed a handful of specific apps that simply didn't exist on Linux and that didn't run well in emulation.

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:33PM (#42036231) Journal
    You could also flip the question around and ask what Linux stuff is keeping you from using Windows?

    So why not run Windows and use Linux as a virtual guest. That way you can play Windows games AND use whatever flavour of Linux you prefer.
  • by Alex Belits ( 437 ) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @12:08AM (#42036553) Homepage

    Except, of course, none of it happened.

    The configuration you are talking about, ALWAYS works in Ubuntu.

  • by fearofcarpet ( 654438 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:48AM (#42037511)

    You could also flip the question around and ask what Linux stuff is keeping you from using Windows?

    Speed. Most of the programs I use in Linux have functional Windows equivalents, but using Windows feels like trying to run in a dream. When I boot into my Win7 installation I have to wait about 10 minutes for the hard drive to stop thrashing before I can do so much as click on an icon. And that is without waiting a few minutes for "update 100 of 3012" to install before even trying to show me the desktop. I have all of the indexing services switched off and the I/O monitors say that "System" is thrashing the drives. Numerous Google searches turn up the same tried-and-true solution: re-install Windows and all your programs and games one-by-one, then finding every little setting that you forgot about and then deal with re-activating it... ugh Windows product activation--new mobo? new graphics card? new moon? Re-activate! It's like Windows was designed to waste my time (that's what ./ is for!)

    Not only does my Linux installation boot in under 30 seconds (SSD drives are great for that), but resource hogs like Aftershot (a cross-platform Lightroom-type program) are fast and responsive, even when running other background tasks. If I do run into a huge problem in Linux, I can just re-install it, keeping the same /home partition and a tarball of a few files in /etc; I'm up and running with a smooth-as-butter OS in about 30 minutes. I'm pretty sure some of my settings files are ten years and at least five computers old.

    Oh, and the command line--I can't live without that. Not just for scripting and remote access; sometimes typing commands is orders of magnitude faster than clicking on stuff. Come to think of it, the only reason I ever boot into Windows is for low-level flashes of my phone (no drivers for Linux) and gaming because literally everything else is better and faster on Linux.

  • Re:Guild Wars 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:36AM (#42037777) Homepage

    The most important development that will push games to Linux isn't Linux adoption by gamers, but lower costs of porting.

    Increasingly, cross-platform development is a necessity. And if you're already being careful about not using platform-specific stuff (which you are if you're developing for Windows, consoles and OSX already), it becomes a simple question of middleware support. More and more engines support Linux these days, and Valve is committed to it. It will happen.

    Meanwhile, I'm happy with Crossover and emulators/retrogames.

  • by lorinc ( 2470890 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:43AM (#42037809) Homepage Journal

    Then what format should one use for "important documents" that are intended to be editable?


    This should not be moded funny but insightful. If you ever work in the scientific academic domain, every important document is formatted in Latex, and they are all still editable whatever the bazillion versions of Office came in between.

  • by bertok ( 226922 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @06:17AM (#42038499)

    Not only does my Linux installation boot in under 30 seconds (SSD drives are great for that)

    So, you compare Linux on an SSD to Windows on a mechanical drive -- seriously?

    I should have just voted you down for spouting something so stupid, but you touched on something interesting without realizing it:

    Most of the programs I use in Linux have functional Windows equivalents, but using Windows feels like trying to run in a dream.

    This is more meaningful, but not for the reason you think.

    Your problem, like all Linux users who try Windows, is that you don't follow the rule that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do".

    Almost certainly, you tried some replica of your Linux toolchain: Cygwin, Bash, Perl, Python, PHP, or whatever, and you were "not surprised" that "Windows was slow" running software... designed for Linux. Meanwhile, Windows runs just fine running software designed for its architecture, but you probably never gave any of that a serious try. Visual Studio starts in a fraction of a second for me, complies practically instantly, and I've seen IIS put out 1100 dynamic web pages per second on my laptop, so I don't think it's all that slow. I've heard people complain that MS Word is "bloated", but it takes 200ms of CPU time to start. Bloated? I think not.

    There are many subtle architectural reasons for this. Things like: "new process" is cheap on Linux, and used for what most programmers would call "threading", but on Windows it is a heavyweight activity that's not intended to be fast. Instead, "new thread" is the fast operation. Software has to be written to start few processes and many threads to perform well on Windows. It's only very recently that Linux got good support for high performance threads, so practically no Linux software is written like this. Every damned thing starts a new process for everything. Linux scripts treat "new process" as if it was lightweight enough to replace "call procedure". Meanwhile, Windows PowerShell starts a single process which calls functions directly from dynamically linked DLLs. That's because it's designed for Windows, unlike Bash.

    Please, just shut up, and try Windows 7 x64 on a real machine with an SSD, run software on it designed for it, and only then come back and tell me that's it is slow.

  • Re:Guild Wars 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mog007 ( 677810 ) <Mog007@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:25AM (#42039143)

    FTL if you're looking for a roguelike that takes place in space instead of a dungeon.

  • Re:Not a game (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:44AM (#42040855) Homepage
    Running it in a VM still means that you're "stuck" on Windows. Don't kid yourself.

Air is water with holes in it.