A Closer Look at Flash Games
If you type in “games” into any search engine you will find a site which contains games made for web browsers, running on a software platform called Flash. Macromedia Flash is a powerful medium for entertainment and animation, but, back in 1995, when Tom Flup decided to create a website dedicated to flash users called Newgrounds.com, it brought along a huge sub-culture of game developers with insane ideas for a constantly developing program with which to expand their craft. Now, this relatively simple system has exponentially grown into a genre all it’s own.
Most Flash games are played on the website themselves, the browser as the medium, using the mouse or keyboard (or both) as the controls. Taking up a minimal amount of space on the computer for “backup files” and the conventional save file or two, Flash games are usually short and sweet in most cases, but not lacking in content or originality. A few years ago, I seriously wouldn’t have believed that a console system would release a game that allowed for you throw stick figures up in the air to defend a castle, but a browser-based game certainly can. However, “Defend Your Castle” is now one of the Nintendo Wii’s best selling games WiiWare game, mostly due the the game’s multiplayer shenanigans. Other examples include Aliens shooting humans randomly just because they can (“Alien Hominid”), two geeks with no lives beating the crap out of other geeks, again, because they can (“Portal Defenders”) and the always interesting struggle between father and son bonding, when they’re both murderous psychopaths. (“Dad n’ Me”.)
You might be noticing a pattern here; while most of the games are considerably violent in nature, either by the context of the work or the gameplay despite the genre of the game itself. However, some games are more artistic and less-defined in terms of their gameplay, like “Flow”, a game where you play as an aquatic organism which grows to reach the end, and “Don’t Look Back”, a platformer with a very surreal, and somewhat creepy atmosphere.
As a form of art and as a game, this user-involved medium of independent gaming makes up the bulk of the community. Games are released weekly now on several hundred different sites, sponsored by many more. Some are incredibly, mind-numbingly hard yet enjoyable. Others are just plain weird, and others really have a great deal of depth to them.
If you haven’t spent time delving on the Internet to play a game, here’s your chance. Here are some sites to kelp get you started. Have fun.