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Best Ways to be Entertained with Open Source

Free and open source is fun!

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Supercomputers around the globe use the Linux kernel to process vast amounts of data, open source software plays a role in everything from the medical to the financial fields, and open source contributors are hard at work this very second donating their time and talents in the hopes of solving some very serious problems. While there's no doubt that open source has found a real home in tackling the tough questions, is it really all work and no play?

From video games to music to reading, if you're just looking to unwind and relax, open source has what you need. But with so many choices, it can be tough to know where to start. Let us guide you through the world of free and open source entertainment.

Books

Woman reading a book
Klaus Vedfelt/Taxi/Getty Images

Whether you're looking to curl up by the fire on a cold and wet night or you're lying in bed but not quite ready to go to sleep, a good book can transport you away from the drudgery and stress of life. And in the case of these books about hardware and hackers, humor and history, you're bound to learn a lot while being entertained.

To start exploring the world of open source on the printed page, be sure to check out 5 Open Source Must-Reads.

Music

Sheet Music
Image © Mirko Mio

Unlike free and open source software, open source music is almost exclusively distributed under Creative Commons licenses that permit the unrestricted re-mixing and re-distribution of audio tracks. But, just like with restrictively-licensed music, open source music comes in countless genres to suit practically any taste.

If you're just looking to explore open source music in general, the Jamendo website is a great place to start. But, be careful! Not everything on Jamendo is completely free of restrictions. To find how to get to just the open stuff, don't miss our short tutorial, Finding Truly Free Music on Jamendo.

And, if you happen to be in the market for Halloween music only, our 10 Haunting Open Source Melodies should definitely do the trick.

Video Games

Green spheres orbiting each other.
Illustration © Barun Patro

With Americans spending more than $25 billion USD a year on video games, there's no doubt that this is one seriously large industry. In fact, in many countries around the world, video games are the number one form of entertainment -- at least measured in money spent. So, if you find that your favorite way to have fun is to immerse yourself in a good video game, you should know that you're in good company!

Hardcore gamers often want action, fighting, big guns, and big explosions, and these 5 Open Source First-Person Shooter Video Games certainly won't disappoint in those departments.

If blood-and-guts aren't quite your thing, how about the peace and tranquility of the countryside? In Farm-Based Games Thrive on Android we show you some great games to play while you're on the run.

And, finally, for something more nostalgic, let's go all the way back with some side-scrolling, platform-jumping, video game action!

Beer

Cold Beer in a Glass and Bottle
Image © engindeniz

Music and video games can be great distractions, but let's face it, sometimes you want a break from technology altogether. And, what better way to do that then to brew up (or buy) some open source beer, invite your friends over, and spend the afternoon or evening making connections that don't involve a single gadget or line of code?

To find out more about open source suds, pop on over to Free (and Open Source) Beer for Everyone! and find out what it takes to be an open source braumeister.

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