Since the Atari 2600 days, I have loved to play games. I went through the different versions of Nintendo systems and PlayStations, amazed at how each release became so real and advanced. Many hours were spent trying to defeat Legend of Zelda or unlock all of the cars in Gran Tourismo or getting my playbook just right in NCAA Football. Not sure hardcore gamer would ever be one of my labels, but I did have my niche in the gaming world and loved to play. My gaming habits have changed so much as of late. Of course, some of that might be age, but there is a distinct change in habits. My theory is that mobile gaming has changed the way I approach video games and has shaped what I enjoy playing.
Like many of you, I have tried hundreds of games on my iPhone and iPad. The games I have tended to keep can all be played in short bursts. Basically, playing a few minutes, leaving the game for a long while then jumping back in. The idea that I do not have to waste an entire afternoon or stay up half the nigh to beat a level and reach a saving point has made my gaming more casual. I tend to play while standing in line or when there is a few minute wait. Yes, there are blockbuster games on iOS with great gameplay and awesome graphics. Those games never last long on my device. Puzzle games and short level games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies have become my preferred diversion.
The introduction of social gaming has also been huge for me. Having the ability to play a friend, or even random stranger, in a game at any moment of the day is extremely enjoyable. Most of the games I have continued playing have some sort of social or online feature that keeps me coming back. On my iPhone and iPad I have two games installed right now. Clash of Clans and Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders (both Blue Plate Special Reviews) are the only games that I have played regularly for a few weeks. Clash of Clans is fun in itself, but the idea of having a team as a clan has made it awesome. I am in a clan with a ton of great people, and we even have a separate group elder chat where we discuss the game and give each other a hard time. Many of he people on the game are friends of mine in real life, so the interaction is quite enjoyable. Storm Raiders is fun because I love WWII aircraft, but I find myself joining dogfight rooms and just going to town with real-time users in amazing air battles. Again, the idea that there are real people participating keeps me engaged.
Is this change in gaming habits just me, is it my age, or is there something really there? Have our devices and new fast paced mobile world changed gamers? Let me know what you think. Share your thoughts and gaming habits in the comment section below, and help me figure out this gaming mystery.