[Acorn Gaming]


Free Games - Terminology

As alien as it may seem to some of the more capitalist members of society, not everyone does everything purely because they want to make lots of money. Some people do things simply because they enjoy doing them, and are happy to let others profit from the fruit of their labours without any exchange of wealth. Acorn owners are no exception, and there are plenty of pieces of software available free of charge which are of excellent quality, or at least worthy of attention, including some great games.

So how do you recognise these free games? They're often designated as "Public Domain", or just "PD", although this is usually - strictly speaking - inaccurate, since if something is in the 'public domain' then legally this means that no one owns that thing, whereas in reality most authors retain ownership (copyright) of their work, even if releasing it for free. A better term, which is now becoming more widely used, is "freeware", which is just what it sounds like - free software, where the author retains copyright.

Some software is released as "shareware", indicating that the author is happy for you to obtain the software for free, but asking you to contribute some, typically minimal, sum of money if you use the software for more than a certain period of time (usually, although any conditions can be specified). Unlike in the USA, shareware is not enshrined in UK law, although it is possible that you may be in breach of contract if you do not register. Registering often brings some reward, such as extra features or support.

...this page last updated: 18/9/96...
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Free games

Botkiller 2
Burn 'Out
Eternal Destiny
Fire and Ice
Heretic and Hexen
Heroes of Might and Magic 2
The Chaos Engine
Wizard Apprentice
Full Tek review now online - finally!
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©Gareth Moore 1993-2003

Acorn Gaming is a completely independent publication and has no official connection with any company