Mobile Technologies and Gaming on the Go
Mobile technologies have given mobility to an array of activities that were previously available to us only in one location. There were designated areas for people to use the phone, surf the Internet, and yes, play video games. In this essay, I will explore some of the ways that mobile technologies have shaped gaming. No matter what you may think of gaming, it has now also been mobilized and no longer has its limits to the living room or the family desktop. Interaction between person and console is no longer localized and can be a widely shared activity. What does this change? What does this mean?
To begin with, I would like to reflect on the game “Zombie, Run!” and it’s factor of mobility. The game allows users to run from imaginary zombies through the city. It is an incentive that prompts the runner to complete tasks and missions. In doing so, they are encouraged to run good distances in a fun manner. I assume that if there was never a factor of mobility for “Zombies, Run!”, then the game would have been a Wii Fitness game. Having this game app on a mobile device such as your mobile phone changes the rules and limitations. This means that social interaction is mobilized once again. Because of this mobilization, people can interact with one another in new ways, particularly through gaming. For example, I could gather up a group of however many friends I would like and start a fitness run. We could all escape the deadly zombie invasion together and work on our legs all at one time.
While I am on the topic of large groups, I would like to turn to the reading by Mia Consalvo, titled Slingshot to Victory. Consalvo makes the point through referencing the mobile game app “Angry Birds”. The game became extremely popular on it’s iPhone platform and I would argue that mobile technology had everything to do with it. Without mobile technology as a stepping-stone, the game may have never gotten as big as it did. Consalvo made a point that was worth taking note of. She stated, “One of the challenges for iPhone game developers has been pricing” (Consalvo, 190). Mobile technologies grant access to games at much cheaper prices than those offered through large consoles, and even still consumers are often reluctant to purchase games on their mobile devices. “Angry Birds” would not have been as successful had its pricing been higher. Cheap games on mobile devices are more likely to gather customers. “Zombies, Run!” may not be the cheapest game on a mobile device, however it attracts the attention of those who may want to exercise and offers a low price for them to participate in what could be a group activity.
The reading provided by Katz and Accord titled Mobile Games and Entertainment made another strong point about mobile games. “Games are naturally occurring learning environments.” (Katz and Acord, 30). The reading offered many statistics on who plays mobile games, where the games are played, how old players are, where most game players are located, and so on. What all of this said to me was that many people like to play mobile games. Why? I truly believe that games are a mental stimulant. I think that video games get brain waves to flow. This is not my most politically correct statement, however it is a valid opinion. There is now a greater access to such technologies because of mobile gaming.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that people now have the ability to interact with one another through mobile gaming. It is a shared experience that can take place on a global scale. You can enter into a game room online and play with/against someone who is opposite you geographically. The playing field is now opened to virtually everyone. This is due in part to marketing skills and pricing. It is also a result of general love for video games. I think that the added mobility is a positive thing and a genre that serves its purpose to provide accessibility to everyone. Below is a link to a live Angry Birds game that displays such connectivity.
Consalvo, M. (2012). Slingshot to Victory. Moving Data: The iPhone and the Future of Media, 184-193. Retrieved from https://mobmed14.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/consalvo-mia-slingshot-to-victory.pdfKatz, J. E., & Acord, S. K. (2008). Mobile Games and Entertainment. Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies, 403-415. Retrieved from https://mobmed14.wordpress.com/readings/
Katz, J. E., & Acord, S. K. (2008). Mobile Games and Entertainment. Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies, 403-415. Retrieved from https://mobmed14.wordpress.com/readings/
video link retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzIBZQkj6SY