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Though the traditional gaming experience has involved dedicated hardware or PC game installations, it's now possible to play many kinds of games online using either a desktop or mobile device. The advantages of doing so lie in the fact that this type of gaming is often free of charge, and you can access it without being tied down to any specific machine. This is particularly relevant for casual gamers who don't wish to invest a lot in their gaming experience.

You will find traditional board and card games, like monopoly and hearts, that allow you to compete against others over the Internet. Speaking of cards, you can also play poker, gin rummy, blackjack and a whole host of other gambling-oriented pastimes either for real money or fake chips at an online casino site. You can even play free slot machine games from the comfort of your home.

Relive Your Early Years
A growing trend is the availability of old console and computer games for free play online. These are titles that previously required dedicated equipment to enjoy in the old days. Now that computing power has increased considerably, they can be emulated pretty faithfully using off-the-shelf computer power.

Many grown-ups now recreate their childhood years by opening up one of the Nintendo games that they remember from a long time ago. In most cases, doing so is as simple as browsing to the appropriate website and clicking "Start." Because almost nobody has an old Nintendo controller lying around, the keyboard is used to direct the action. More serious gamers often purchase a gamepad for their home computer that allows them to have a more rewarding gaming experience.

Many Platforms Supported
Besides the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, games can also be found online from the Sega Master System, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Game Boy and other now-obsolete gaming consoles. The more recent a gaming system is, the harder it is to find it being emulated on a web interface. This is because demanding system requirements make it difficult to play them within a web browser and also because the copyright holders don't wish to release their up-to-date offerings for free.

A New Twist
Some people don't wish to play the specific games that they have already completed; after all, much of the fun lies in the challenge of figuring out a new adventure. It is stimulating, sometimes-painstaking gameplay that they're after. Not for these hardcore devotees are modern games' multiple save points, oodles of HP and introductory tutorials. They want to be immersed in unforgiving, exacting entertainment from the get-go.

This community finds satisfaction in "retro-style" gaming. Fast-paced action, simple graphics and sound, and old-school ambiance mimics the game design philosophy from the '80s and '90s. In most cases, modern touches are added to eliminate some of the frustrations of titles from this bygone era: More save opportunities, smoother animations and larger game worlds are some of the common improvements.

Regardless of the specific genre or style of games that you appreciate, it's very likely that you'll be able to find what you seek on the web. Look for amusing games that you recall from the past, or try your hand at a modern offering that nevertheless provides all the fun and challenge that you remember. Because there's a wide selection of free gaming possibilities, there's truly nothing to lose but your boredom.

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