“Click friction” is the drain on a game’s potential player base associated with making the player jump through hurdles to get to the game. A major hurdle is the client download – people hate waiting for software to download and are afraid that what they’re downloading might actually be a virus. But the flip side of the problem – building a game that doesn’t require a client or plug-in download – usually means poor quality 2D or isomorphic ’3D’ graphics. Here’s where WebGL comes in.
WebGL is a piece of the new HTML5 standard, and it allows direct access to the graphics card from the browser. With WebGL, the same kinds of 3D graphical environments that can be built with OpenGL / OpenGL ES can now be built right into the browser. In principle, a player could be in a game with a single click and from any browser on any platform (so long as the browser supports the modern HTML5 standard and has non-antiquated graphics cards / drivers). The WebGL standard is still developing, but here’s an example of a demo game room to give some idea of the possibilities: