"Q: The difference between the Adobe Shockwave and Flash Players?
A: Shockwave Player displays content created with Adobe Director 11.5 software such as high-performance multiuser games, interactive 3D product simulations, online entertainment, and training applications. By using extensions, developers can extend the capabilities of Shockwave Player to play back custom-built applications.
Flash Player displays content created with Flash Professional CS5. This content includes web applications, website user interfaces, interactive online advertising, and rich Internet applications (RIAs) created using Flex."