Mozilla Labs launched its Gaming Home earlier this month, and today announced Game On 2010, the organization’s first international gaming competition. The Mozilla Labs Gaming home invites all kinds of developers to build in open source and for the browser, and includes a parameter of note - no Flash.

The objective of the contest is to encourage development of games that will run in Firefox and other Web browsers without plug-ins, as paraphrased from the contest official rules. Sponsored by the Mountain View-based Mozilla Corporation, the contest’s basic rules exclude Flash, since it is a plug-in, though a ubiquitous one.

The game can only use open Web tech, such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc. as well as server-side code such as PHP, Python, Ruby or Java. Certain additional free resources are allowed, but nothing that a user would have to pay for. The winner will be selected in January by community and professional panel.

Flash has been the subject of much debate, a conversation that largely began with Apple’s choice to not support it in iOS, the operating system for its iPhone and iPad. Apple’s and others’ argument is based mostly in its security flaws and inefficient use of hardware resources. According to ReadWriteWeb today, there are many advanced effects only available in Flash or other browser plug-ins, while HTML5 has a much smaller set of tools.

But Flash has become the vehicle for the vast majority of online video and casual gaming. This development could signify a wider trend in the move from Flash, or simply a more inclusive variant on the norm of Flash gaming - one that can include mobile device browsers.

One concrete benefit of open Web game development is that it keeps the scene much more casual gamer friendly. Many casual users of the Internet never install plug-ins, though many do install Flash. But current trends for the game industry want to optimize the casual gamer, an under-utilized godsend in an underperforming economy.

By Ivory King