A browser game is a computer game that is played over the Internet using a web browser. Browser games can be run using standard web technologies or browser plug-ins. The creation of such games usually involves use of standard web technologies as a frontend and other technologies to provide a backend. Browser games include all video game genres and can be single-player or multiplayer. Browser games are also portable and can be played on multiple different devices, web browsers, and operating systems. 
Browser games come in many genres and themes that appeal to both regular and casual players.
Browser games are often free-to-play and do not require any client software to be installed apart from a web browser or browser plug-in. In some cases a game may be free, but charge for extra in-game features. Multiplayer browser games have an additional focus on social interaction, either between several players or on a massive scale. Due to the accessibility of browser games, they are often played in more frequent, shorter sessions compared to traditional computer games.
A persistent browser-based game is a video game that is both browser-based and persistent.
Persistent browser-based games usually rely on some kind of server-side code; though some will use technologies like Flash, ActiveX, and Java applets to store data on the client's computer. Games relying on client-side technology are rarer due to the security aspects that must be dealt with when reading and writing from a user's local file system - the web browser doesn't want web pages to be able to destroy the user's computer, and the game designer doesn't want the game files stored in an easily accessed place where the user can edit them. The server-side code will store persistent information about players and possibly the game world in some kind of database.
Sustainability, especially when combined with persistence is a key distinction of a PBBG. This allows dynamic system modelling elements to develop and progress (stuff happens), even while the player is offline. Such games often last for several months.
Browser games can take advantage of different technologies in order to function.
Browser plug-ins can be used to provide game technologies after being installed by the user.
|Windows||Mac OS X||Linux||License[notes 2]||Installed base[notes 3]|
|Java||Yes||Yes||Yes||Open source (free)||78%|
|Silverlight||Yes||Yes||Partial (Moonlight - LGPL)||Proprietary||62%|
- Availability refers to the latest stable version only.
- Refers to the reference implementation. There may be alternative implementations under different licenses.
- Stated as a percentage of web browsers.
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