“2007 is the year of Linux on the desktop.” Yes, yes, yes.
As always, my barometer in such matters is my wife. Recently I turned her on to Freeciv. She enjoyed it quite a bit. She played for several days. And then, at the end, when she landed her spaceship on Alpha Centauri, she was greeted not with fireworks, not with trumpets or fanfare of any kind. She was, instead, greeted with this message: The Game Is Over.
Her response: “Well, &%$* you.”
See, what she really wanted to play was Civilization. I convinced her to give Freeciv a try, and even downloaded it to her Windows machine. She played it. She was game. She liked it, and she wanted to *really* like it, to please me. And now, two weeks of gameplay later, she is *so* ready to pay $40 for the privilege of seeing the little spaceship blast off.
So, free software fanboys everywhere, let’s keep it real. Free as in speech, free as in beer — they don’t matter to everybody. Especially if they don’t make the little ship blast off.
On the upside: I also introduced her to Nethack, which she completely loves. And the nice thing about Nethack is that I don’t have to worry nearly so much about her reaction to the end of the game, because I seriously doubt she’ll ever reach it. Especially now that she’s decided to play it only on full moons.