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Portal for game play launches in UK

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Gaming portal Won.net is launching in the UK (and France and Germany). Boasting 40 online games, the Sierra-owned company is currently pushing the "casual" side of gaming - you know, chess, backgammon et al - but, of course, has thrown in Net favourites like Half-Life and Quake.

"We're not going after the hardcore gamers," the editor of the site's content told us. "They've already got a choice of sites - we're trying to build a gaming community." And while it hurts to agree with the PR puff, the UK site is worth checking out.

The site's claim that its money will be made by banner ads is a little suspect but when you consider the publicity that new games will get, there's little doubt that the 10 million it's spending will work its way back.

We were also pushed into playing its Wordox and Acrophobia games - both very simple, both very addictive. Aside from the fact that the gaming community gives us the fear and insists on using daft Internet acroymns all the time, this is a great setup for the lunchtime surfer - simple registration, simple interface.

Maybe we're being too enthusiastic, but talking to those behind the site, melancholy set in: people used to get excited and passionate about the Internet's possibilities in the good old days, didn't they? Talking to accountants and money-hungry businessmen every day has taken the edge off the digital revolution. Gaming may be a small market but at least it's one with a sense of humour. ®

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