I've been investigating how multiplayer online games work. What I've found is that many simple games are flash based. So, to play them, you've got a flash app running in your browser, communicating with a web server presumably via http sending something like xml back and forth. This seems inefficient.
What I'm curious about is more sophisticated games -- desktop games, with multiple players, communicating with a central game server.
Perhaps the standard way to do that is to use http with mod_perl (or FastCGI)... I don't know. How is this sort of thing usually handled these days?