Steam has become the standard for downloadable games for PC / Mac / Linux. There are two issues – one, it doesn’t carry software that will run on Chrome OS, and two, it’s not available for Chrome OS. That’s not the end of the story for gaming though – and even better, in order to run games on Chrome OS you don’t have to download any software whatsoever.
Since Chrome OS runs flash, you also have access to any of the flash game sites on the web like Kongregate. These sites mainly provide casual gaming experiences, but there are some great and addictive finds in there.
Minecraft is an open world indie game that allows players to create environments out of cubes. It is available for PC, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, Android, iOS and a Java based web version. However, Chrome OS does not by default support Java and hence cannot run the web version of Minecraft.
I haven’t tested it myself, but there are instructions for installing Java on your Chromebook and getting the web version of Minecraft to work on Chrome OS. It’s not going to be pretty, and expect to spend time trawling forums and blog comments.
Head into Developer Mode (instructions for all models are here)
Install Java (these instructions are for the CR-48, but should be a useful starting point)
Install Minecraft (which in this case is not just simply heading to the web based URL)
Although Minecraft for the web doesn’t quite exist yet, the voxel.js project shows the potential. You can see some early examples here – click on any of the voxel-* projects to see it running on your Chromebook.
I will update this page with more information (fingers crossed for a release on the Chrome web store!)