The Internet Computer (IC) is a blockchain-based cloud computing platform. Many use cases for traditional cloud computing services are also applicable to the IC. I would estimate that online gaming has seen more enthusiasm among developers here recently, but there has been more media attention around open-internet services like LinkedUp and CanCan. I find this Reversi game to be particularity inspiring. The IC is very flexible though, and in many cases, the limits are your imagination! Checkout some projects from the Tungsten Demo Day to get inspired.
That said, and as you point out, there are limitations, such as making a direct call to an external endpoint without going through the ICQS or a similar service. Perhaps it’s best to start a different thread on why we require deterministic computation and its implications for system design and user experience. I don’t dispute the implications are significant, but many perceived handicaps turn out to be quite manageable. I stand by the design decisions we made here to optimize for security and the best possible user experience.
Some would argue that building on the shoulders of giants comes with risk. How did it workout with Zenga building Farmville and Mafia Wars on Facebook? A public cloud like the IC is uniquely capable of derisking businesses in ways that other cloud service providers are not.
Testing should improve significantly once dfx ships with an IC replica simulator instead of the IC replica itself.