The precursor to the Flash applications was SmartSketch, a drawing application for pen computers running the PenPoint OS developed by Jonathan Gay, who began working on it in college and extended the idea for Silicon Beach Software and its successors.
When PenPoint failed in the marketplace, SmartSketch was ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. With the Internet becoming more popular, SmartSketch was re-released as FutureSplash, a vector-based web animation in competition with Macromedia Shockwave. In 1995, SmartSketch was further modified with frame-by-frame animation features and re-released as FutureSplash Animator on multiple platforms. The product was offered to Adobe and used by Microsoft in its early work with the Internet(MSN). In 1996, FutureSplash was acquired by Macromedia and released as Flash, contracting "Future" and "Splash".
Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform that is popular for adding animation and interactivity to web pages. Originally acquired by Macromedia, Flash was introduced in 1996, and is currently developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. The latest in flash series 'Adobe Flash CS4 Professional' was released in 2008. It's power features include inverse kinematics (bones), basic 3D object manipulation, object-based animation, a text engine, and further expansions to ActionScript 3.0. CS4 allows the developer to create animations with many features absent in previous versions.
The rising popularity of Flash and Java led to an Internet revolution where websites could utilize streaming video, audio, and a whole new set of user interactivity. When Microsoft began packaging Flash as a pre-installed component of IE, the Internet began to shift from a data/information spectrum to also offer on-demand entertainment. This revolution paved the way for sites to offer games to web surfers.
After the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, many sites solely relying on advertising revenue dollars faced extreme adversity. Despite the decreasing profitability of online gaming websites, some sites have survived the fluctuating ad-market by offsetting the advertising revenue loss by using the content as a cross-promotion tool for driving web visitors to other websites that the company owns.
The term online gaming in many circles is being strictly defined to describe games that do not involve wagering, although many still use the term online gaming synonymously with online gambling.
Note: This website does not include or endorse any game that involves wagering or online gambling in any form.