You have a few misconceptions. Here are some short answers.
I believe linux doesn't have separate drives, like windows where there're different logical/physical drives.
Linux does indeed recognize drives and partitions, but the terminology is different.
A drive might be identified as sda
). The first partition on that drive would be sda1
, the second, if present, would be sda2
, and so on. The next drive would be sdb
, and so on. When you configure a Linux distribution, you don't do so with "Drives" as you do with Windows, you do so with the partitions, which are what the operating system actually cares about.
If you have multiple physical drives, you can merge them into one logical drive using LVM or Logical Volume Manager
. Some distros use LVM by default (CentOS, Fedora). Most do not.
Then there's RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks)
which is a whole nother thing.
As for games, if you play Windows games, you could try VirtualBox, but you could also possibly use Wine
. Some games seem to work very well under Wine; others do not. You can see the Wine appdb
for some examples.
As for playing videos, I'm watching an AVI on Linux Mint 13 using VLC as I type this. There are sometimes issues with codecs, especially for Real Audio media, and with DVDs, because of DRM. I have high-def *.mkv files that run flawlessly.
As for sharing media over your home network, my media server runs Debian 7.0. Linux was created with networking in mind.
Then there's Myth TV
I'm going to suggest that you visit the About dot com Linux
site. It's oriented to new and intermediate users and should answer a lot of your questions. You can also find a wealth of information at The Linux Documentation Project