Modern GNU/Linux Systems Should Run Old Games: Open Source Community


LibrePlanet 2020 ended on a high note with its second conference on 15 March 2020. There were a lot of things that were discussed in the online conference. However, one topic of discussion at the conference was centered on gaming on GNU/Linux systems.

Developer Dennis Payne tried to look back and pointed out that Modern GNU/Linux no longer runs “older” free software games.

There are workarounds to play old Linux games on the Modern GNU/Linux system, like installing the older version of the library. However, this process usually consumes a lot of time, and sometimes, it doesn’t even work.

Now, we all know that despite improving a little bit, Linux lags behind Windows in terms of gaming. Although various Linux distribution or platforms such as Pop!_OS, Manjaro Linux, Steam OS, GOG, Wine focuses more on strengthening gaming on Linux. 

These platforms ease the method of any driver installation to lure more users by allowing them to play the latest high-end games easily. What’s Surprising, is that even these Linux based stakeholders are also targetting modern games instead of the old ones.

So, the question is, why does the open-source community want to run older free software games rather than focusing on the latest ones?

Well, in a session titled “Free software game restoration,” Payne emphasized on how video games reflect our culture. He also went on to say that older video games are a part of our “historical records.”

That is why, according to Payne, the Free Software Foundation needs to utilize their “freedom to study and modify” older free software games for modern GNU/Linux systems. That is the only way to carry them forward to the next generation, as losing them will be like losing a part of our history.

Moreover, it will also help the old school players to consider switching to Linux and weaken the myth that gaming on GNU/Linux is “bad.”

Now, incompatibility with older video games isn’t unique to Linux, as this same problem is faced by Windows users as well. Most applications and games designed for Windows XP and older don’t run on Windows 10.

Shivam Gulati

Shivam Gulati

Shivam is a blogger who is always fascinated with technology and the amount of knowledge he can gather from the internet. He is trying to nerdify everyone around him with that same knowledge, through his writings. He enjoys gaming in particular, so he tries to keep track of what’s new in the gaming community and write about it. Visit his Gaming Channel IntroGamers on YouTube.
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