Gaming has shifted from various platforms, gaining all kinds of participants due to the technological advances occurring in society. Today video gaming has grown on to our mobile devices, which were once only meant for communication purposes. Cell phones have become the new battle grounds for gamers worldwide. Mobile applications like Flappy Bird, Snake, and Clash of Clans have flourished in the now growing gaming community that lives on our cell phones. Attracting people of all ages, mobile gaming is larger than ever before. In the development of these mobile technologies, gaming has shifted from the very complex design, living on consoles; to a simpler, more feasible layout living on cell phones.
Mobile technology has made the development of video games cater to a busier audience. An audience that is on the go and looking to occupy empty time, while waiting to do something else. For console games, participants would play for hours at a time, overcoming the various challenges, with their attention absorbed in a digital world. While for mobile games, participants are simply using the game to temporarily please their time. Mobile gamers are usually waiting for something else; be it traveling, waiting for an appointment, a call or text, or just out of boredom. This design strategy has led to the success for many mobile game applications.
When looking at games like Clash of Clans and Angry Birds, you see that the concept of the games are relatively simple. With Angry Birds, you interact with the screen of your mobile device to slingshot-launch a bird into a structure, built of different objects. The objective is to win at least one of the three stars, which is determined by the percentage of damage caused by the birds you launch. Some players will play a level multiple time until they reach three stars, resulting from one hundred percent destruction. Angry Birds has succeeded with this reward type of system, as well as many other mobile games. Games like Clash of Clans also follow the three star concept, but is a bit more complex in design.
Clash of Clans is a game that lives in real-time, connecting with players from all over the world. Gamers from America play with players from Canada, Japan, China, Spain, Germany, and many other countries. Players interact with each other either through global chat rooms or clan chat. In a way, Clash of Clans is much like Angry Birds in a sense that you are given a level to destroy, and gain a three star rating based off the percentage of destruction. The level could either be designed by the developer, or by another player participating in the game. The development of this game thrives off of the massive multi player concept that lives on consoles to connect other players in gameplay. Now groups of players can compete against other groups, in matches to win a big reward after the match. This mobile game can also connect players with others, who are further connected through social media platforms like Facebook.
As big as gaming is in the U.S. for consoles, it’s no surprise that as mobile technologies continue to increase, gamers would shift or begin to use the mobile platforms to satisfy their gaming needs. Mobile gaming initially in the U.S was never as popular as it was in other parts of the world like Asia. “Only 11 to 12 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers play games, versus 40 percent of those in Korea and even higher numbers in Japan,” (Katz 2009). Much of the gaming trends in the Asia Pacific region are being carried over to the U.S and becoming normal mobile gaming habits. This is something U.S. gamers have to begin to catch up on, as Asia tries to make the mobile gaming experience similar to console gaming. Games like Clash of Clans exhibit, just that.
In order to keep the gaming community involved on mobile platforms, game developers have made the experience somewhat similar to console gaming. As the mobile phone has become more than just a mere phone, it has also become a camera, MP3 player, multimedia server, and gaming system. It is important to note that mobile technology has increasing become convenient to user entertainment. While gaming on mobile devices connect players, it also leavers the players to communicate amongst themselves to better the experience. Leaving their existence in the gaming realm in the digital world. “In general, players firmly but politely maneuver to avoid face-to-face meeting,” (Chan 2008). Gamers enjoy mobile gaming for various reasons, but the ability to connect with others is definitely one that the core. As mobile technologies advance, the gap between console and mobile gaming, gets smaller and smaller. Eventually they will all be the same, with maybe minor differences.
Handbook of mobile communication studies By: Katz, James Everett. MIT Press 2008
Games and Culture: Convergence, Connectivity, and the Case of Japanese Mobile Gaming. Dean Chan. Sage. 2008