The problem is apparently that those programs (Beryl, 3d games, ...) need 3d rendering and your X doesn't work all right with it. It can (or cannot) be solved by installing appropriate drivers, if possible; I have a laptop where it's impossible to run Beryl (for example) because it does just that, and for the chipset I have there exists no Linux 3d drivers. The problem arises also if I try to run glxinfo to determine whether or not I have DRI enabled -- apparently it isn't
If you happen to own an ATI or nVidia video card, (on ATI preferably newer than 8500) you can try to get past this by installing either nvidia's or ATI's official drivers. You can see which driver your X is currently using with
..and then scrolling down to the part where it says
Identifier "Your Video Card Name Or Something"
The Driver part says it: on nVidia card it can be "nv", on ATI it can be "radeon" for example or it can be just "vesa" for a generic (not-so-good-looking) stuff. For SiS chips it's usually "sis" and so on.
The installation of proprietary drivers depends on your distribution, but usually it's easy trough package manager. Note that it might not be unproblematic, so before proceeding read appropriate threads here at LQ.