WebRTC World Feature Article

December 18, 2012

Reimagine the Web as a Console in Mozilla's Second GameOn Competition

Recently, Mozilla launched a competition seeking game developers who want to get their best games out into a wider audience. Dubbed the GameOn competition, the second such event ever, there are some big prizes at stake, so Mozilla is looking for the best of the best to make their appearances in three different categories.

Mozilla's GameOn competition is looking for three kinds of games: hackable games, multidevice games and Web-only games, and those interested in getting an entry together have until Feb. 24 to get it ready for prime time. The winners in each category will get a free trip to San Francisco, all expenses paid, for the GDC 2013 event, and those who win will also get featured in both the newly-minted Firefox Marketplace and a chance to present their games to Chillingo for potential publication.

The big focus of this year's GameOn competition is that the developers think of the Web as a console, to, as the Mozilla Foundation's Chloe Varelidi put it, "...reimagine the Web as the console, and use the power of the browser to revolutionize the way we make and play games." While that may sound a little vague, there are some very clear points that Mozilla's likely looking for, like the use of standards like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but also with newer features like WebGL and WebRTC. WebRTC, or Web Real-Time Communications, has been gaining a lot of ground lately as a new and important tool across several different subsections of communications. Based around HTML5, it allows for video, audio and even data to be shared directly between Web browsers, and it's expected that more than half of all Web browsers will have WebRTC functionality within the next three to four months. Mozilla, meanwhile, seems to be embracing the WebRTC standard wholeheartedly by putting out a specific gaming event around its use, or at least, in part. Not long ago, Mozilla was even spotted running a WebRTC beta on Firefox, its popular Web browser, showing off its overall capability.

WebRTC and HTML5 have put a lot of value in gaming in recent weeks, with some games making appearances online only thanks to HTML5 like the recent revamping of games.com with AOL. Getting developers to more consciously focus on WebRTC and similar advanced features is likely to prove valuable in the long run, as users and programmers alike discover just what these things can do for gaming. Additionally, with the multidevice focus, there's potential for other communications technologies to find applications from the technology developed strictly for gaming, and some of that may spill over into other facets of communications and technology as well.

Naturally, we're going to have to wait until February to see just what kind of games will come out of the development race, but chances are it's going to mean some fantastic new games to close out the winter and walk into early spring with. What else will come out of the GameOn competition remains to be seen, but it should be impressive nonetheless.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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