Are games a key ingredient to GNU/Linux overtaking windows?
I started writing an article as a response to those who say that despite it continuously growing, GNU/Linux is too slow in displacing Windows on the desktop. I believe it is just getting started, but I'll save the elaboration for the article.
I am opening this thread because I basically stumbled on a section of the article devoted to the issue of games. I don't think multimedia support is so much of a problem as it is often made to be (outside of US, where software patents are valid, it is not a problem). With Dell selling Ubuntu pre-installed, the obstacle of people having to install and configure it themselves is gone too. But games.. that problem remains.
What I mean is the following. Somebody buys a shiny new Dell with Ubuntu on it and wants to play games on it. He will still be exposed to the mainstream games that his windows friends run so he will want to run those on his new PC. However, he wont be able to, unless he goes through the process of installing Cedega (and paying for it) or Wine, which is a first checkpoint at which he might say "gosh I wouldn't have to do this if I bought that XP computer) and he'd be right.
So, we can say that he shouldn't play those proprietary games. He should find free ones to play, natively developed for GNU/Linux, and sure there's more and more of quality ones from that field. However, this would mean that the problem he faced (with mainstream games) must be ignored and turned into a much deeper ideological issue for us to deal with the problem, because without understanding this ideological issue (of freedom) he probably wont know of any reason why he should live without those proprietary mainstream games.
And sure, I'd opt for a shift making deal like that anytime myself, but you can see how that presents an obstacle for my article which wants to persuade people that soon there will be no obstacles at all, that running GNU/Linux will be as easy and easier as Windows, including games, which is apparently not true.
So, is the only way to resolve the gaming issue on GNU/Linux to pretty much displace the current mainstream games with Free Software titles? And besides, are games really the key ingredient to adoption of an OS, as some claim? Can GNU/Linux ever get to the 50% market share, for example, without the gaming issue resolved? (And do note that 50% includes A LOT of people who will find gaming practically essential.)