MacMost Now 68: Shockwave is Back

Gary Rosenzweig looks at the new Shockwave plug-in for the Intel-based Mac. This is the first time Shockwave has been available for newer Macs. You can use Shockwave to play free online games like the ones at
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 68: Shockwave is Back.

Hi this is Gary Rosenzweig.
Well, Shockwave is back. Shockwave is the plugin used in your browser to play lots of games and other applications on the internet. Let's take a closer look on this episode of MacMost Now.
Shockwave is a web-browser plugin used to play games and other types of web content. The problem is, while it's always been available for the Mac, it hasn't until just this month been available for Intel-based Macs. So you either had to use an old Mac to play Shockwave content, or you had to use a few tricks to actually get old Shockwave to work on an Intel machine.
This entire time it's been available for Windows just fine so there's been plenty of content development and plenty of companies have been making things for Shockwave.
Well, finally now we get a chance to run Shockwave native on our Intel-based Macs. First, lets look at how to get it on your Intel Mac.
To install Shockwave all you have to do is go to and then click on the 'install now' button. This will download a very simple installer inside of a disk image. You open up the disk image, run the install Shockwave player, and it will quit your browser and install Shockwave.
Now this installs the very basic Shockwave. So, chances are, the first time you visit any real Shockwave content it's going to say something like 'installing extras.' Extras are extra bits of functionality to Shockwave like, for instance, the 3d engine. So that the first time or two you go to see Shockwave stuff you're probably gonna have a slow download, but after that it should be pretty quick.
Now you'll probably wanna find some Shockwave content to test it out. Of course you know I'm gonna plug our sister site, Gamescene has all sorts of different games including Shockwave and Flash games. The Shockwave games are some of the ones with 3d. For instance, 'Freestyle' is a 3d music game.
-Game footage shown on screen-
You can go to the games list at Gamescene and see some other ones as well.
Here's a good example of a 3d game. Move around a 3d maze...(game footage) ...and shoot enemies.
Now you noticed when going to some games at Gamescene and other Shockwave sites, that they don't work, complaining that the "Havok" extra is missing. The deal with the Havok extra is that it adds physics to 3d games. Unfortunately, the Havok extra only works on Windows and PowerPC Macs.
There's a different physics extra for Intel Macs, but it's going to take time for developers like Gamescene to update all of their games to work with this new physics engine.
Now there's usually a lot of confusion between Shockwave and another browser plugin, Flash. Sometimes Shockwave is used to define both, when, in fact, they're completely separate things. So Flash is content created in Adobe Flash and played back with the Flash player. It's what you see a lot of on the web. It's probably the most popular browser plugin. Matter of fact it's used to play all of the videos at Youtube, for example.
Shockwave is content that's made with Adobe Director, a completely different program. Now Shockwave content is stuff that's made with Director and it's completely independent of Flash content. But the mass media, even other Macintosh websites, go ahead and use Shockwave to define both Flash and Shockwave content, and that's just not right. Shockwave content's made with Director, Flash content's made with Flash.
But you probably don't have to worry about it. Just have both the Flash plugin and the new Shockwave plugin and you can play almost any content available on the internet.
That's it for now. Until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 68: Shockwave is Back”

    11 years ago

    The confusion was Macromedia’s falt. It used to call it Shockwave Flash. It is even in the extention .swf, Shockwave Flash.

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