Pushing the Envelope - Throw Away Your Playstation

The internet has come a long way since the early commercial access days of the 1990's. Now you can jump online and be engaged by some truly amazing things. This month, we are looking at online games with our Multimedia Designer, David Clarke.

Throughout my degree in Design and New Media, I was introduced to many exciting new technologies. 3D interaction, however, has until recently, remained a technical challenge for the internet - competing standards (think Beta vs VHS) and generally slow connections have really hampered progress in immersive media technology. It wasn't until Macromedia introduced Shockwave - a browser plug-in or enhancement more powerful than the more common "Flash" - that guidelines were set, and the world could move forward with consistent standards and access.

Traditional games development has been hindered by standards in hardware performance more than anything else, whilst internet gaming confronts the opposite dilemma - bandwidth. The problem is actually getting the game downloaded through our internet connection but the rise of broadband internet connections and some pretty clever programming by game developers and Macromedia is making it possible to deliver games comparable in quality to the initial PlayStation - delivered entirely online.

Through Shockwave we are now able to deliver rich interactive three dimensional components via the web, to a growing audience of over 300 million users ( www.macromedia.com).

To try out some of these amazing demonstrations of what we can do with the internet check out the following links:
Shockwave - creators of the technology that makes it all possible: www.shockwave.com
EA Games - world leaders in electronic games: www.ea.com

These site contain ports (modified versions) of popular console games like "SSX" (Snowboarding) and "Need for Speed" (car racing), which come highly recommended.

Related Link: www.shockwave.com

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