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The Internet First Person Shooters (Games)

In-Game Web Browser Round-Up 193

Posted by timothy
from the not-complete-until-it-includes-one dept.
theodp writes "CNET takes a look at Web browsers you can run inside of the latest video games, offering mini-reviews of PlayXpert, Steam, Rogue, and Xfire. Why run these instead of your standard browser? Well, these browsers run lean and mean, play nice with full-screen apps, provide hot keys that can make them appear or disappear in an instant, and offer transparency so you can continue to play a game in full screen while chatting, reading e-mail or looking up cheat codes. So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?"
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In-Game Web Browser Round-Up

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  • Kind of makes sense. A friend of mine was complaining that her son spent all his free time gaming, and I told her: "he's learning the user interface of the 21st century".

    So how long until video games start to offer virtual Linux consoles so I can compile and start an in-game web server to serve those in-game browsers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by setagllib (753300)

      Now that AIGLX lets you run any window as an OpenGL mesh and texture, it's not a stretch to map that into a surface in your game. But it would require some cooperation from the game itself, since it has to take a reasonable place in the OpenGL command pipeline unless you just want it hovering over everything.

    • by Richy_T (111409) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:24AM (#26916001) Homepage

      Yep. With the way the economy is going, the user interface will be a rifle or shotgun.

    • For quite some time now you've been able to bring up FireFox inside of Everquest 2 (they have the files inside a sub-dir of the EQ2 directory, so it's a "private" copy of it, not accessing what you already have installed). They mainly did it because they were overhauling their in-game support page (reporting bugs, etc) to a normal web page instead of a one-off interface window specific to the game, but I guess somebody finally had a brain and said "hey, let's just let the players use this as a regular brow

      • by AndrewNeo (979708)
        Are you sure it's all of Firefox they integrated, and not just Gecko (FF's renderer)? I know Second Life has an embedded version of Gecko they use for their help browser.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:46AM (#26915597)

    These new in-game browsers are great! I used to be annoyed that I'd have to hit Alt AND F4 to switch away from my game to check my stock prices, but now with these new in-game browsers I can simply hit Shift+F4 and browse at my leisure.

    This is a huge step forward in usability. I can't wait until Emacs includes a browser that can be toggled with an intuitive set of keystrokes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AdmiralXyz (1378985)

      What, didn't you know? C-c M-o M-browser and you're all set. You'll need a 64-bit quad-core machine to handle it though.

    • My computer takes two whole minutes to minimize and two more to maximize, so I really like xfire browser. It even has tabs, much sooner than IE :P

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:47AM (#26915611)

    So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?

    Hopefully never. People already have enough things to distract them while driving. Do they really need another one?

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      What, you don't think people will drive better if they can watch the latest porn from their favorite site on the way into work?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jetsci (1470207)
      Its actually quite scary. I was on the bus this morning on my way to work when I look out the window at a women driving. She is completely beyond reality and roughly 2 car lengths from the nearest car, fumbling for gloves that she clearly needs right that moment, then lipstick.
      I was genuinely boggled when she pulled out a nail file and started working on her nails. All the while, oblivious to the cars around her.
      • I commute long distances upstate and in NYC very often by car, here's some of the oddities I've encountered on the road:

        - dozens of guys shaving with a portable electric razor while driving
        - people reading books when stopped at a red light...never heard of audio books you idiots?
        - people eating food...but with a plastic forks and knives out of containers at red lights
        - several cab drivers drinking beer while driving...
        - a guy swerving through traffic as his dog climbed under the pedals once...

        But nothing to

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hatta (162192)

      Sup dawg, I heard you like to browse, so I put a browser in your car so you can browse while you drive.

      Did I do that right?

  • On windshields? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haeger (85819) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:49AM (#26915625)

    So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?

    I hope that we never see this. Not as long as there's a human steering the car. Do we really need yet ANOTHER distraction from driving? People are texting, putting on makeup, calling, eating, drinking, reading and doing too many other things than driving. Imho if a police should see you doing this they should sell your car and take your license since you're too stupid to figure out that 3000kg at 100km/h is a force to be respected.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You are right. It sounds like a joke when, in the country where I live at least, there is a law against driving and using a cell phone at the same time.
    • Re:On windshields? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by travdaddy (527149) <travo.linuxmail@org> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:01AM (#26915745)
      So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?

      I hope that we never see this. Not as long as there's a human steering the car. Do we really need yet ANOTHER distraction from driving? People are texting, putting on makeup, calling, eating, drinking, reading and doing too many other things than driving. Imho if a police should see you doing this they should sell your car and take your license since you're too stupid to figure out that 3000kg at 100km/h is a force to be respected.


      The funny thing is that people are far more likely to "pull over and chat" in an FPS (where they can respawn) than in a real car (where they can't).
    • by houghi (78078)

      If people do not go out of the way, they clearly did not respect it enough.

    • by kabocox (199019)

      So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?

      I hope that we never see this. Not as long as there's a human steering the car. Do we really need yet ANOTHER distraction from driving? People are texting, putting on makeup, calling, eating, drinking, reading and doing too many other things than driving. Imho if a police should see you doing this they should sell your car and take your license since you're too stupid to figure out that 3000kg at 100km/h is a force to be

  • Needs Adblock (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ticklemeozmo (595926) <(gro.mca) (ta) (kcavon.j.nitsuj)> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:59AM (#26915729) Homepage Journal
    As with most geeks, no browser will get our full attention until it gets adblock.
    • At least the EVE in-game browser doesn't support JavaScript or Flash, and therefore most obnoxious advertisments won't be an issue. Images in HTML are fairly benign, and as long as they don't simply create table cell after table cell filled with "OMG U R WINNAR!!1" and "Get ringtones here!" images with no content in between, it won't be an issue.
  • I don't like it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:00AM (#26915735)

    All it does is encourage people to multi-task more. And that is not a good thing. Our brain isn't good at multi-tasking (in terms of focusing on different things), we end up doing each job half-assed. And have a big switch when we go from one to the other. It is like a drug though because we use so much extra brain power multi-tasking we feel like we are being more productive however you are better off doing job 1 then job 2 in order. With this happening more we are training our kids not to sit down and solve a problem but jump back and forth until until we fail at all of them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      All it does is encourage people to multi-task more. And that is not a good thing. Our brain isn't good at multi-tasking (in terms of focusing on different things), we end up doing each job half-assed.

      The more you multi-task, the better you get at it - at minimum, you get better at combining the tasks that you regularly combine.

      With this happening more we are training our kids not to sit down and solve a problem but jump back and forth until until we fail at all of them.

      Growing up with a slow modem and a multitasking computer (1200 bps BSR modem, Amiga 500) I definitely learned to multitask. I find that I am better at it than my parents. Perhaps it's a good thing. Besides, there will always be those among us who enter a nerdly fugue state and tune out the rest of existence. And isn't Autism on the rise? Perhaps humanity is segmenting :)

      • Multitasking is not downloading a Program for 1 hour and doing something else while it is loading. (It is computer multitasking but not human multi-tasking). I remember when I installed Slackware My order for each module was well planned out I get the Core then Network first Install though then I boot into Slackware then Get the Games. Install the games module. Then I download the rest while I pay lasteroids.

        • by popmaker (570147)

          I remember when I installed Slackware My order for each module was well planned out I get the Core then Network first Install though then I boot into Slackware then Get the Games.

          You're multitasking right now, aren't you?

    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      All it does is encourage people to multi-task more. And that is not a good thing.

      It's a good thing if the people multi-tasking are my opponents. ;-)

    • by twosmokes (704364) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:58AM (#26916483)

      Speak for yourself. I'm excellent at multi

      Item # Price
      15876 39.99
      15887 45.02
      16986 25.36
      12547 44.78
      13698 87.54
      15478 21.66
      11224 12.74
      1447 36.85

      Some of the above prices aren't matching what we were given by the vendor. Can you verify these for me by the end of the day?

      Thanks.

      tasking. You obviously haven't had enough experience with it. Keep practicing and you'll be able to do 3-4 things at the same time without any major problems.

  • Steam? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Crossmire (1393021)

    Steam seems to still use Internet Explorer for some things. I removed IE with nLite and can easily see where Steam tries to use it. TF2 also has major problems and it forces the game to minimise and presents a dialogue asking me if I want to download an html file, it then takes 20 seconds to get back into the game. I wish there was some way to stop TF2 from making any attempts to use a browser, but I haven't found one yet.

  • Malware authors already found games as a new attack vector. Do we really have to give them an interface they're already very familiar with?

    • THIS

      A thousand times THIS!

      Totally with you. The world wide web is a terribly hostile place at this point. We've got so many tpyo squattres (that was deliberate), and legit but hacked web sites delivering malware/spyware, and so many idiots who really think some Nigerian interior minister is seeking their help that I predict EPIC FAILURE.

      That is all.

  • I seldom alt-tab (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sw155kn1f3 (600118) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:14AM (#26915875)

    Usually I have all my chat windows etc open on second monitor where I can see them. Second old 17" LCD does the trick.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:15AM (#26915889)

    "...So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?"

    Are you serious? We can't even keep people from crashing at 80MPH and killing innocent people because they're too busy texting on a 2x2" screen on a fucking cell phone, and you want to slap a full-blown YouTube/Facebook/Myspace portal on the windshield?

    I'll tell you how much longer. When we have a foolproof autopilot system for our cars.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'll tell you how much longer. When we have a foolproof autopilot system for our cars.

      There's no such thing, but rail is pretty good.

      We went the wrong way in this country when we let the auto companies dismantle the rail system (to the minimum level that would allow for their purposes.)

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        Many cities are putting in a light rail system. The problem is that rail is great for moving large loads, not so much for getting someone to even within a mile or two of their destination. Gotta have something to cover that gap.
  • too bad linux games kinda aren't there, but I used to do this with quake4..

    Just run the game in its own X11 session. Then switch between them using and .

  • by Missing_dc (1074809) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:18AM (#26915933)

    "So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?"

    just as soon as I mount those rockets, .50cal, smoke screen, oil slick, caltrop seeder, and armor on my truck.

    Oh, and I need to mod the controls to let me handle steering and acceleration/defense devices with a joystick and the aiming/offense with a mouse.

  • by Loosifur (954968) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:52AM (#26916417)

    Level pally...watch porn...level pally...watch porn...

    hmmm...

    EUREKA!

  • What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [tzzagem]> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:24AM (#26916863) Homepage

    Steam (and probably the others too) just uses the drop-in ActiveX Internet Explorer component. It's not mean and it's definitely not lean.

    If they used Gecko or Webkit it would be a different matter.

    • Oh yeah it looks like they tested it using a site with Flash and then complained when the website performance was horrible. Even the Chrome team said they can't do anything about poor Flash performance (relatively speaking to the rest of Chrome).

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)
      Considering the Steam overlay only originally allowed access to their pages, it's not really that bad. And why integrate Gecko or Webkit, when you're already Windows-only?
  • And maybe someday we will have games that run in resizable areas that take less than the full screen, so that one can run any arbitrary application (or even applications!) in the remaining space. Wow! Wouldn't that be something!

  • So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?"

    Hopefully not before we get the option in our car to hit ESC and choose LOAD > This_Morning.sav after being in a fatal car accident.

  • I wonder why they didn't test EVE's IGB (In-Game Browser).

    It sucks, but still...

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:24PM (#26922723)

    looking up cheat codes. So how much longer before we see a variation of this on our real-world car windshields?

    What's the cheat code for enabling infinite fuel in my car?

    Window up, window down, window up, window down, turn signal left, turn signal right, turn signal left, turn signal right, AC, emergency brake, ignition.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!

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