Did Linux become a gaming platform a long time ago?

In today's open source roundup: Has Linux always been a viable gaming platform? Plus: The Witcher 3 may be coming to Linux, and the best Linux distro for parents coming from Windows 7?

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Linux has recently gotten a lot more attention as a platform for games, and this has caused a lot of joy among Linux gamers. But are we celebrating something that already happened a long time ago? Network World thinks that Linux became a gaming platform years ago and that talk of "the year of Linux gaming" is unnecessary.

According to Network World:

The true measure of any great gaming platform is not the number of games available. Nor is it the need to have the same games as other competing platforms (the Playstation 4 doesn't need Mario games to be considered successful). And it really isn't even about how many total games are sold, though that certainly helps.

The measure of a great gaming platform is if people want to use it to play games on... rather than another platform. At least on occasion.

Once I figured that out, it became clear. Linux is a solid gaming platform. It has been for a long, long time.

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Image credit: Linuxaria

While I can sympathize with the author's irritation about grand declarations about Linux gaming (or the year of the Linux desktop, etc), I can't help but feel that he's being a bit of a Negative Ned in this article. Yes, there have been games available for Linux for quite a long time, but nothing like what we're seeing now.

I think perhaps it's the difference between being a minor, sleepy gaming backwater and a major, bustling metropolis of game development. In years past Linux was clearly not where the gaming development action was happening. It was always Windows, Windows, Windows (and to a much lesser degree OS X). Now things have turned around considerably and there has been an explosion of game developer attention to Linux.

I think that's definitely worth celebrating, and yes even a few grand declarations are in order. And why the heck not? Linux gamers were treated as second-class citizens for many years, but now those days are over forever. So we should pause for a moment and bask in the warm glow of Linux finally coming of age as a major platform for games. We deserve it and Linux itself deserves it.

Rumor: Witcher 3 coming to Linux

GamingOnLinux speculates that The Witcher 3 may be headed to Linux.

According to GamingOnLinux:

A redditor emailed in to highlight a post they made on reddit after going to SDCC where they spoke to the developers of The Witcher. The developers confirmed to them a Linux version of The Witcher 3 exists.

Take this with a grain of salt of course, as nothing is confirmed until the developers announce it themselves. Although if you remember a big splash image of The Witcher 3 coming to SteamOS did end up on Steam recently, and was quickly taken down.

More at GamingOnLinux
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