The thin-client model is considered a perfect fit for online gaming. As modern games normally require tremendous computing and rendering power at the game client, deploying games with such models can transfer the burden of hardware upgrades from players to game operators. As a result, there are a variety of solutions proposed for thin-client gaming today. However, little is known about the performance of such thinclient systems in different scenarios, and there is no systematic means yet to conduct such analysis.
In this paper, we propose a methodology for quantifying the performance of thin-clients on gaming, even for thin-clients which are close-sourced. Taking a classic game, Ms. Pac-Man, and three popular thin-clients, LogMeIn, TeamViewer, and UltraVNC, as examples, we perform a demonstration study and determine that 1) display frame rate and frame distortion are both critical to gaming; and 2) different thin-client implementations may have very different levels of robustness against network impairments. Generally, LogMeIn performs best when network conditions are reasonably good, while TeamViewer and UltraVNC are the better choices under certain network conditions.