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What is a Browser-Based Game?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 16, 2024
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A browser-based game is a game that is played entirely within a web browser rather than through a video game console or other apparatus. This means that the game can be played from many different types of computers and can often involve many different players at the same time. Some browser games are simple puzzle games, but some can be quite detailed and involve entire worlds. As such, it is best to think of this type of gaming as a way in which a game is accessed rather than a description of the game itself.

Usually, a browser-based game can be accessed through a computer that has access to the Internet, although the computer may need to have certain features in order to play the game. The game runs in a browser, meaning that the user does not download the game to his desktop, nor does he play the game on a special gaming device. The player plays the game in the same type of browser that displays websites because the game is located on a website.

There are several different types of games that can be played in a browser. A basic browser-based game may involve only one player and may not involve much of a time investment. On the other hand, a more complex browser-based game might involve meeting friends at a specific time online and going on quests or missions. It is important to understand that there are many different multiplayer games that are not played through a browser. Multiplayer games and browser games are not synonymous.

This type of game is almost entirely reliant on what types of activities can be performed online. The advancement of online technologies directly affects the advancement possible in the game. Many browser games that have existed for long periods of time have undergone extreme changes in design, sometimes as extreme as moving from a two-dimensional design to a three-dimensional design. It is logical that as the Internet continues to advance so will browser gaming.

The benefits of playing a browser-based game versus a game that must be played in another way depend on the user. Many games of this type are free or supported by advertising, particularly when they are single-player games. Other browser games are supported by subscriptions, which some people do not enjoy. On the other hand, many people already have a computer with an Internet browser, so playing games in this way means that a person does not need to invest in a gaming system. In each individual case, arguments can be made for and against browser gaming.

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Discussion Comments

By Mor — On Jan 08, 2014

@irontoenail - With most of these browser-based games you have a choice as to whether or not you open your wallet. I mean I know they can be addictive but if you promise yourself that you will never spend money on them then you should be fine. Most of the time you only pay to speed things up or to own a copy of the game on your hard drive.

By irontoenail — On Jan 07, 2014

@clintflint - I would be cautious about playing online browser-based games and expecting the company to be completely above board. In my experience they are almost always trying to get as much money out of you as possible. For example, you might think that the game is free until you get to a certain point where you'll have to buy an object with real money order to continue playing. By that point you've already played the game for so long that you feel like you've invested a lot of time in it and many people will end up buying the object, thinking that they only have to do it once. Of course it's not just once, it happens over and over and each time the person feels more and more invested and willing to spend more and more money.

There are people who have spent thousands of dollars on supposedly free browser-based games. So be careful with these games, especially if you know you have an addictive personality.

By clintflint — On Jan 06, 2014

It is actually amazing how many free browser-based games there are now for people to choose from. Lots of games websites offer of free versions of their games that are only playable online. They know that the players will get addicted to the game but won't be able to save it when playing it in the browser so they will end up buying a copy.

Which isn't actually a bad way to do business. It gives player a chance to try the game so they aren't really being tricked into buying anything. If anything it gives them more control over their purchase.

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