Has Gaming Changed with Our New Mobile Devices?

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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.

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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.

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7 replies

  1. I don’t mind some of the social games of today. However I do not like the games that only let you go so far unless you have X amount of people to join you on your “quest” or you must pay x gems that can only be purchased via a in game purchase(with the main game being free). If you think you have to earn money for your game just let me pay for the game! 😛

    • But Joel – there is a *reason*. In my review of ‘Secret Society’ I note that if the game charged $9.99 no one would buy it. But by giving you incentives to check in 1-2 times a day and do a couple of things you become invested in the game, and suddenly that $0.99 isn’t so bad – especially when you find a hidden treasure that gives you 2-for-1 deals in the (real money) shop. Suddenly you have spent $20 on that free game you would have balked at paying more than $5 for in the first place.

      For me, iPod/iPad gaming has totally destroyed the Sony and Nintendo handhelds, but hasn’t touched my ‘hardcore’ PC gaming. That said I have some ‘inside info’ on an upcoming game that could just finally deliver a *new* hardcore RPG on the iPad for the first time!

      • I can see that, but some games are worth paying that from the outset. I’d probably pay that for the PBA Bowling game that I like on my phone.

        • I think *many* games are worth paying for – and more than the bargain-basement prices we pay. I think that pricing is a self-limiting factor in mobile games. If they don’t charge more we will never see PC/console level depth … but if they DO charge more nobody will buy …

  2. Travis, I find that I play the short attention span games far more than the long and involved games these days. Right now I am hooked on the some of the social Zynga games like Words with Friends, Draw Some, Scramble, What Phrase, and Gems, because I can connect with friends while doing something fun. I’m also playing Dots right now.

    If I have hours free to invest in something, it’s usually reading a book. But being able to kill 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there by playing quick games is exactly what I like right now. =)

    • Sounds like we are on the same kind of plan. By the way, my wife plays that Dots game like it is going out of style! I used to spend so much time playing a game to get to the end or to a certain level, and I just cannot use time that way now. Maybe I have just grown up? Either way, I enjoy my iOS gaming experience.

  3. I am actually bored of my iPhone games. I can’t get into Clash of clans. I did play Ghostbusters a lot but the last update got rid of all my slime so I gave up. I loved Star Command and beat it In three days. I am actually picking up the DS more and more. My iPad has turned into the browser only device. I guess my 33 year old brain is craving more DS, Wii, and PC gaming. I have been playing Metroid Other M and love it.