Client based applications – Games and distributed computing
What makes this addiction even more interesting is that it is not based on any whiz bang graphics or funky effects. By any account, the visual disply of Ogame can only be called boring. That’s because OGame is not a client application like World of Warcraft or RailRoad Tycoon where the brains of the game run on your PC. With Ogame, all the processing happens out there on a server, someplace.
In the U.S., gaming has been dominated by client based applications like Halo, Counter Strike, WoW, and the Battlefield 1942 series. These games provide rich graphical and audio experiences that put the player into the central point of contact with other gamers. They do this by harnessing the local computing power of your PC.
While these applications do use internet servers to connect players and to calculate the implications of gamer actions (The equation of “did Fred beat Sally on that last laser shot or did Sally escape” can only be calculated centrally) the get their bang from the graphics card in the box two feet from the gamer. Game designers exploit all that processing power to do some very fancy stuff like the car chases of Grand Theft Auto or the vast cities in Half Life 2.
In the case of Ogame, there is none of that, because the browser can’t handle the computational chores necessary for the same effect. But overall there is so much desktop computing power available in the the wealthy US that client based games dominate our market.