What a Million Dollar Tweet Looks Like

One tweet from Tesla motor company founder Elon Musk caused the stock share price of the car company to increase 4 per cent on Monday April 30th 2015, from $181.50 to $192.25. Elon Musk @elonmusk “Major new Tesla product line — not a car — will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30” was tweeted to his 1.89 million followers. Although Musk was only playing a joke, that was an expensive joke. Anyone that’s seen or heard about his tweet quickly contacted his or her stockbroker with the intentions to buy buy buy. Not surprisingly this situation has occurred countless times. When a significant someone has a large following, a strong financial stance, or a big political influence release a message with a fragment of information causing the public to frenzy together spreading the message to their networks. We live in an era where mobile media and mobile telecommunications together can shape the world in the matter of hours.

Howard Rheingold author of Mobile Media And Political Collective Action and Oliver Leisters author of the iPhone Failure; Protest And Resistance both agree that mobile media has the ability to shape the social, political and financial aspect of our daily lives. More importantly Rheingold and Leisters also illustrate the effects of trying to Control Mobile media to manipulate it to “organize, plan and coordinate” for positive change or “stifle, misdirect or demoralize” for disruption and chaos.

Mobile media is forever evolving and changing the climate of the environment that we live in, which means that Mobile Media can be used for good and bad, and the effects of that media fluctuates the stance for private parties and interest groups. For years now mobile media paired with mobile phone have given grass root initiatives the communication ability that has been lacking. For instance unifying and mobilizing the individual’s interested in a cause “Mobile phones and the Internet have made it possible for people to coordinate and organize political collective action with people the we’re not able to organize before in places be weren’t able to organize before” (226 Rheingold). Massive Organizing is made easier by using a Mobile Media platform. These platforms can connect, update and rally supporters for a cause that is beneficial to one interest group but can disrupt the apposing parties. However mobile media has had a major impact domestically as it does abroad. Take for instance, in resent years various countries around Africa, “cell phones have been used into notable recent instances to combat election fraud and as a political organizing tool” (226 Rheingold). Giving citizens the ability to monitor and report their finding can ensure honesty and fairplay during elections. Surveillance of both protocol and activities of the staff is crucial because individuals can alert local authorities or their supporting party by brining attention to suspicious behavior that could sway voting trends. Rheingold says, “Mobile phones deed enhanced transparency of process campaigns effectiveness and reduction of fraud (227 Rheingold)”. However there is always an apposing force to any campaign, too much policing and involvement of the general public in any political operation can result in a want to control the climate.

Digital forms of mobile media can sometimes be untraceable by anyone thus keeping the original sender anonymous. Authors who send out messages remotely can use Internet cafes, random hotspots or use disposable devices to publish their message. Rheingold notes an event in which “Organizers use mobile phones and websites to coordinate swarming clusters of demonstrators who emerged from the general crowd to shut down traffic at specific locations at agreed times then melt back into the crowd (230 Rheingold)”. Actions such as these were planned out so carefully that it was impossible to find the culprits responsible for this organized anarchy. A lot of political advocates and organizers find mobile media to be a tool of publishing and sharing their thought and beliefs free of risk, especially if the one live in the United States. A organizer within the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which is freedom of speech. Which parallels that Mobile media is a form of freedom of speech. However using the First Amendment as an offensive tactic has been used to disrupt to Government and large companies since inception in 1791. Although protected by the constitution there’s still great precautions to take when sharing and distributing information. A great example of sharing and distributing information is a popular website called wikileaks. Wikileaks is a website dedicated to sharing sensitive, classified, confidential information about companies, political figures, military operations to the general public and it is all posted by anonymous sources.

Being an organizer for a social good can be very challenging and dangerous especially when you are advocating for the poor, weak and defenseless. However it can be even more of a difficult task when your opponent has more resources, capital and powerful connections for their initiative. That’s why it is important for party organizer, facilitators, managers and leaders to remain secretive and anonymous until they decide to reveal themselves and become a face for their campaign, and it all starts with the choice of tools. Oliver Leisters breaks down what the choice device that serious activist tool of choice is and it’s definitely not an iPhone.

Leister outlines several things that are crucial when looking to commit to a device, that is pricing, software restrictions and hardware limitations. Leister talks about the cost to acquire an iPhone and how “one might conclude that the iPhone is for the wealthy only” (Leisters 239). Next, Leister also goes on to indication that iPhone is not open source and is completely locked which he says, “the possibilities are limited” (Leister 239). Lastly the hardware, iPhones cannot be merged together using Bluetooth technology that can act as network router. Also another pit fall is the inability to remove the battery, which leads to concerns about the device being powered down that the microphone and camera can still be active. From Leister arguments he advocates’ for the use of android devices for an organizer because they can be low cost, complete customizable, has great utility uses and the battery can be removed for ample security.

All of these concerns about mobile media and its limitations that Rheingold and Leister mention bring forth the idea that this going to be an on going battle of control. How can one party get a leg up on another and ultimately who can control and regulate the media, because if that goal can be achieved then the world in which we live can be drastically shaped.

Work cited

Leistert, O. (2012). The iPhone’s Failure: Protests and Resistance. In Moving Data: The iPhone and the future of media. New York: Columbia University Press.

Musk, E. [elonmusk]. (2015, Mar 30). Major new Tesla product line — not a car — will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30 [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/582581865682350080

Rheingold, H. (2008). Mobile Media and Collective Political Action. In Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

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Politics and Mobile Med

In today’s era communication mediums have paved new and exciting paths for political activism. These innovative and technically advanced communication technologies have given people the ability to organize, plan and coordinate to execute effective political actions (Oliver Leis). Through these technologies, including mobile phones and social networking mediums, individuals are able to communicate in ways that weren’t possible just a few short years ago. This new form of communication allows us to make positive social and political changes through elections, demonstrations, and insurrections. (Rheingold). This was seen in January of 2011 when Egyptian activists organized an uprising against their own government. The protest came about due to poverty, unemployment and corruption from a presidency that lasted three decades. Little after a month of relying on social networking, and various other mobile technologies the people of Egypt succeeded in their political agenda of getting their President Hosni Mubarak, to resign.

The similar success stories such as the Jasmine Revolution of Tunsia in 2011 set off a major movement of similar protests throughout the Middle East and North Africa (Britannica.) Although in not that extreme of a measure, societies demand for political change is strongly seen in the 2008 elections. When President Obama’s camp used the same media advantages that protesters in Egypt used the results were undeniably successful. Using social media to deliver messages that addressed complaints that the public was having.

Utilizing social media allowed Obama’s team to connect to a larger demographic then his opponents, a possibly large reason for winning his first term. From these 2,379,102 Facebook supporters, the 112,474 twitter followers, the $656,357,572 in individual contributions (Center for Responsive Politics) Obama’s 2008 campaign was able to control social networking through his ability to use communication technologies to his advantage.

All that being said notwithstanding the positive results that occurred with the help of mobile media and technology authors such Oliver Leis would argue that these mobile mediums, in particular to his article the iPhone, have no way of ensuring political success. A point that Leis brings up is that the iPhone is particularly expensive, making it difficult for those looking to invoke changes in areas of poverty a major issue. But even outside of the iPhone itself even through more affordable mobile devices politics requires some sort of financial backing. President’s Obama’s victorious campaign required millions of dollars in contribution around 750 million to be exact (Center for Responsive Politics) and although 88% of those come from individual and group donations it is safe to say that the remaining 12% that compliance funds played a part in campaigns success. I say this to support Leis argument that the mobile technologies alone are not going to ensure politic change. But looking further away from money, we’ve seen in recent year in events of Eric Gardener that even with major media attention certain political actions remain the same. In my social justice research paper I explained that even though in certain states polices officers are required to carry camera the record there move footage is often deleted or tampered with. So what about the civilian cellphone recording? As seen in the case of Eric Gardner a grand jury in Staten Island voted not to indict the New York City police officer that was taped preforming a NYPD banned chock hold that resulted to the death of Eric Garner. Despite the viral video that one would assume almost everyone saw, the three previous time accused of false racially motivated arrest NYPD officers, Daniel Pantaleo, lawyer Stuart London was able to convince a grand jury that her client was innocent. While the outrageous indictment resulted to in protest that eric-garner-protestsalso was organized through social networking, and social media platforms in the case of Eric grader unfortunately even through political activism built off mobile media involvement there wasn’t any political change to occur. Even in recent in months, despite media organized protest that lead to the investigation of Ferguson, Missouri police department which eventually lead to findings of racial bias in the department many including citizen of the city choose to believe that it is for the betterment of the city that the department remains the same. That goes to show that even if with majors media outlets such as CNN reporting findings of injustice and thousand participating in this demand for thorough social media, technology and other media outlets mobile media is limited in what it can contribute to political changes. One can even say that mobile media has contributed tremendously in political change.

There is very little that can be done to ensure that the change that does occur due to mobile media involvement is for the good. Or that that change even will remain as it was initially anticipate by those that seek to invoke change through mobile media. That could be said today about Iran’s 2008 revolution and the current issues regarding their politic converses.

Work Cited

Leistert, Oliver. (2012). “The IPHONE’s Failure: Protests and Resistances.” Moving Data: The iPhone and the future of media. New York: Columbia University Press. P. 238-248.

Rheingold, Howard. (2008). “Mobile Media and Political Collective Action.” In Katz, J. E. (Ed.). Handbook of MOBILE COMMUNICATION Studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. P. 225-239

Mathias, Christopher . Workneh, Lilly  (2014 December 03). Grand Jury Declines To Indict NYPD Officer In Chokehold Death Of Eric Garner. Huffington post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/03/eric-garner_n_6263656.html

(2011, Feb 14).Timeline: Egypt’s revolution. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/01/201112515334871490.html

(2015, Jan 25). Protest deaths mark anniversary of Egyptian uprising. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/01/protests-mark-fourth-anniversary-egyptian-uprising-150125100516885.html

Unknown. (Unknown). Triumphs & Tragedies | In Defense of Mass Demonstrations[Photograph], Retrieved April 5, 2014 from: URL (https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8pg7oSRVCRkAg2sunIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTIzZzI3M3F1BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM3NzIyMmI0MzVjNmU1MmNiYTM2NjUwNzdhODE2OGQ4ZgRncG9zAzE4BGl0A2Jpbmc-?.origin=&back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Deric%2Bgarner%2Bprotest%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26hsimp%3Dyhs-001%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D18&w=970&h=668&imgurl=adamuzialko.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F12%2Feric-garner-protests.jpg&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fadamuzialko.com%2F2014%2F12%2F07%2Fin-defense-of-mass-demonstrations%2F&size=132.9KB&name=Triumphs+%26+Tragedies+|+In+Defense+of+Mass+Demonstrations&p=eric+garner+protest&oid=77222b435c6e52cba3665077a8168d8f&fr2=piv-web&fr=&tt=Triumphs+%26+Tragedies+|+In+Defense+of+Mass+Demonstrations&b=0&ni=21&no=18&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=125k6cp5g&sigb=13r1ml61f&sigi=120thge8s&sigt=11o0gstmh&sign=11o0gstmh&.crumb=jN45wWNBo4n&fr2=piv-web&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla)

Mobile Gaming & Familiarity

Mobile technology has changed the dynamic of so many things in society. Some say that technology has changed things for the better and some say it has made things worse. Mobile technology has definitely had an impact on the gaming industry. As it has been known for over a decade now, the gaming industry is one of the biggest industries and is forever evolving. There are so many different concepts and new updates to games that keep the people interested. These concepts and evolutions in mobile gaming enable manufacturers to meet the needs/requests of the consumers in many different markets.
In the article, The place of urban mobile gaming, Larissa Hjorth explains how the invention and evolution of mobile media has caused mobile gaming to expand into other areas of exploration outside of mainstream markets. “In particular, location-aware and hybrid reality mobile gaming has grown – creating new possibilities for play between online and offline spaces. With the ability to negotiate simultaneously various online and offline spaces, along with senses such as the haptic, mobile urban gaming is transforming how we think about gaming, play and mobility” (Hjorth. 2011).  This is more than just a step in a new direction. This shows that mobile gaming has the ability to create something innovative and new. Mobile gaming represents something special due to the fact that one can travel and still indulge in gaming. Years ago, a person would have to stay home while gaming, which would impede on their progress in the game or accomplishing their goal/mission of beating the game. The objective of most games is ultimately to reach some level of success and that is what makes games so relatable to everyone. No one wants to lose. Everybody wants to be a winner. Hjorth also touches on the idea of location-aware mobile gaming, which incorporates the use of GPS in order for them to function properly. Pay attention to the many applications that exists today (Facebook, twitter, photo applications, etc.). They all are becoming applications that tell people that the application will run smoothly if they decide to approve the location service option. This is the newest craze in society so it was only a matter of time before mobile gaming would adopt the same idea. “As an area often dubbed ‘urban games’, ‘pervasive games’, or ‘location-aware’ gaming, mobile games such as LBMG/LAMG involve the use of GPS that allows games to be played simultaneously online and offline. For Ma¨yra¨ (2003), gaming has always involved place and mobility, and yet it is precisely this key feature that is missing in most current videogames, especially single player genres” (Hjorth 2011).   Having the option to play games online and offline is a huge attraction to people because that allows one to play the game whenever they would like to. There is really no restriction.

Christian McCrea also discusses portable gaming systems in his article, The nature and context of portable gaming systems.   He goes on to discuss how familiarity with portable devices can cause games to become more expressive. “As familiarity with a technology develops, games become potentially expressive – though not in a clear sense of expression of the device or its user. Games and their play grow to express that familiarity – which can be understood in terms of affordances, histories and loyalties” (McCrea. 2011). This correlates to Hjorth due to the fact that the use of having mobile gaming opportunities online and offline creates a means of familiarity with portable technology. People become familiar with what they spend the most time with so mobile gaming in many forms will do nothing less than create familiarity within its consumers. With this being said, will the familiarity of mobile gaming create a decline in home game systems in the future? That’s the concern that some people have.

With this being said, it is predicted that mobile gaming will eventually overtake console gaming in the near future. It is believed that the expansion on mobile gaming into unfamiliar markets will do nothing more than create this change at a much faster pace than thought, but everything is becoming mobile these days. Can it really be prevented?   According to Fortune, “Smartphones and tablets have given gamers two new screens to play games on in addition to their TV and PC screen. Because U.S. consumers use all four screens, mobile gaming does not replace console or PC gaming. Moreover, it gives gamers the possibility to play games anywhere at any time, pushing overall time spent on games in the U.S. up 40% in only two years.”   It’s all about game availability at this point in time. Marketers and manufacturers are making sure that gaming is available in every market so that extreme gamers will have their wants met at all times. Extreme gamers love the idea of having their favorite game at their fingertips.   Hjorth and McCrea write about portable readiness and market outreach to show us this.

 

Citations

McCrea, C. (2011). We play in public: The nature and context of portable gaming systems.Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 389-403. Retrieved February 22, 2015.

Mobile Technology’s Affects on Political Activists and Politicians

Over the last 10 years, mobile media technology has become increasingly important to political activities around the world. Mobile technology can be effective at organizing and coordinating political protests, political activism, and acting as a tool to protect citizens from unjust governments and militaries. Mobile media technologies have also become increasingly important to politicians to utilize during political campaigns, elections, and emergencies.

Mobile technology for the people: Political Activism

Mobile devices have reshaped the way people organize protests and riots in countries such as Pakistan and India. In rural India, where many people have unreliable electricity and limited to no access to Internet, email is not a successful method of communication. Many people do have mobile telephone devices though. Without electricity, mobile phones take precedent over other infrastructural measures. As referenced in The iPhone’s Failure, Madhuresh Kumar stated, “If anything happens anywhere… you create a text message and send it across the country to all the supporters in the villages and cities, and it is easy and quick to organize support.” Kumar works on mobilizing social movements from rural areas to the cities to protest. Mobile text messages sent out in the morning have the ability to be used as a tool to gather people on short notice for demonstrations in the evening. Kumar’s statement shows that mobile technology and text messaging is legitimately effective and useful for organizing community activism.

In addition to effectively gathering people for protest, mobile technology can be used by the people against the government or military to reclaim their rights. “Roberto”, a member of a paper and cards collectors’ self-organized cooperative in Sao Paulo, Brazil reported using the recording devices, and cameras, on mobile cellphones to record meetings with authority. (Leistert) By getting officials’ voices and discussions on tape recordings, the members of the co-op have documented evidence of agreements. They can use the evidence as proof against authority to claim their rights when they are unfairly fined or punished. In this sense, they can use the mobile technology to protect themselves and hold authorities somewhat accountable when the power structure is unequal.

People also use mobile technology to protect themselves in countries where the power structure is unequal by sharing intelligence and information about military movements. For example, the Mexican military tried to control the streets in a remote area of Mexico. The people used their mobile phones to record pictures and video of the military transports. By sending the pictures to other regions, cities, and the internet, the people could warn other areas so that the military would not be able to catch anyone else off guard. Posting images, video, and text about the incidents onto the internet from mobiles devices allows for increased visibility and an audience of billions to potentially learn about what is happening and mobilize quickly for a cause. (Rheingold) A number of political incidents and protests have gone viral on social media over the last few months from observations of police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri to global outcry over the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Charlie Hebdo “Je Suis Charlie” cover

Leistert cautions though against praising the liberating powers of mobile technology. He states that it is increasingly difficult to keep mobile media available and sustainable for political protesters. Militant governments and regimes have learned of the empowering abilities of mobile technology and try to limit them. The public surveillance that traditionally has been targeted to repress people, and instill fear and paranoia in citizens, is also present with mobile technology. The activists regularly acknowledge with frustration that their phones have the ability to be monitored or turned off by the government or telephone companies. Even though it is not a perfect tool, the activists still use mobile technology because it is the best tool they have currently. The development of mobile technology for political activism has potential benefits of improving society that outweigh the potential for negative effects.

Mobile technology for the politicians: Political Campaigns and Elections

Mobile technologies have altered political campaigns and elections too. Swedish political party secretaries, communications officers, and election managers all thought social media would play an important role, but not a decisive one, in the 2010 elections. According to Koivunen, many Swedish political parties released mobile apps in efforts to engage people politically. The different parties took a variety of media strategies in developing their apps. The Christian Democrat party framed their candidate as a comedian of sorts. The app got the candidate, Goran Hagglund, a lot of positive publicity and feedback. This app demonstrated the increasing personalization of politics and how political campaigning is becoming more entertainment-based. Other party’s apps took a more traditional, informative approach to try to connect with the people. Although to Koivenun in “Party Apps and other Citizenship Calls”, the Swedish public overall deemed social media a flop and a non-factor in voting in the 2010 elections. However, the use of mobile technology in the Swedish 2010 election was a precursor of mobile technology and social media in election campaigns in the United States in 2012.

For the 2010 election, SVT, a Swedish television station, worked to combine politics with humor and satire in efforts to cater towards politically-engaged users. (Koivunen) Politicians are now doing this in the United States. Politicians, and traditional media, increasingly are using social media to try to engage voters and connect with them on a more personal level. For example, after the “Texts from Hillary” meme and tumblr came out, Hillary Clinton met with the creators of the tumblr and then proceeded to use the original picture of her on the BlackBerry as her Twitter avatar for over a year. (She changed it last month, March 2015.)

Texts From Hillary

Years ago, politicians would have paid zero to minimal attention to jokes that people made about them online. Now, political memes proliferate social media apps every time a candidate opens their mouth. The memes are then talked about on traditional media formats such as television or the radio. This demonstrates the interdependence between the media and our political system that Koivenun briefly mentions. It also shows how “new media” may play an increasingly important role moving forward into future elections.

Koivenun presents smartphones as necessary devices between media and politics. Rheingold supports this sentiment in “Mobile Media and Collective Political Action” when he discusses politician’s past use of mobile technology. According to Rheingold, after 9/11, all members of Congress were equipped with BlackBerries so they could communicate efficiently with each other in an emergency situation if phone lines were down or jammed. Furthermore, the Republican Party’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, coordinated the 2002 Republican Congress victory from his BlackBerry. Supposedly, he even monitored the election and messaged off of his BlackBerry while in meetings with President Bush. It is interesting to note that politicians use their mobile devices for persuading, organizing, and coordinating in such a similar manner as the people using mobile technology to protest in India.

While there are some drawbacks to using mobile technology for political activism, overall, mobile technology has had a positive impact on the work of political activists and politicians alike. Both groups of people use mobile technology as a tool to connect with others and organize political activities, whether it be through text messages, BlackBerry messages, or social media apps. The readings highlight how politics and media, traditional media and new media such as mobile devices, depend on each other. In the future, mobile technology will continue to affect how people protest, or protect themselves, in developing countries and how politicians campaign and engage with each other and citizens. These actions will only become increasingly visible on various media platforms as the world becomes more connected.

References:

Horowitz, A. (2015, January 12). Charlie Hebdo Cover Features Muhammad Holding ‘Je Suis Charlie’ Sign. Retrieved April 6, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/12/charlie-hebdo-cover-je-suis-charlie_n_6458876.html

Koivenun, A. (2012). Party Apps and Other Citizenship Calls. In Moving Data: The iPhone and the future of media. New York: Columbia University Press.

Leistert, O. (2012). The iPhone’s Failure: Protests and Resistance. In Moving Data: The iPhone and the future of media. New York: Columbia University Press.

Rheingold, H. (2008). Mobile Media and Collective Political Action. In Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Texts From Hillary. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2015, from http://textsfromhillary.tumblr.com/

Mobile Technologies Shaped Gaming. Or is it the opposite?

Gaming is one of the earliest forms of social interaction and dates all the way back to the first signs of ancient life. To this day playing games is popular amongst people of all ages. Even though there are many ways to play games, the most common form seen today is through technology. Video gaming – in particular – dates back to the 1950s when a game of tic-tac toe was monitored on a giant screen. Also, the first video game called “tennis for two” was released in 1958 (Bellis). Since the start of these technologies with video gaming there has been a huge advancement in gaming overall. Today, games are now available through mobile technologies, which has helped shape gaming overall and vice versa where gaming has helped mobile technologies.

Gaming has helped shape mobile technologies since the start of video games. In 1997, Nokia introduced the game “Snake” on their mobile devices and shortly after – due to popularity – more games were provided on cell phones. The reason behind this success was due to the fact that “snake” was a popular game before it was released on cell phones. Katz argues, “mobile games seem to have initially followed the model of PC and Internet games” (Katz 406). This still happens today where games start out available on the computer and then they turn into a mobile application game. For example, The Sims was a popular computer game and is now available on different platforms such as video game consoles and mobile technologies. Even though Katz feels that Nokia was the start of mobile gaming, Consalvo feels differently.

Mobile technologies have been providing games since the late 1990s. Even though games were popular on mobile devices such as cell phones, Consalvo argues that iPhones are the reasons that mobile gaming became popular. She agrees that before 2002 only simple games such as Tetris were available on cell phones; however, shortly after the iPhone was released mobile gaming skyrocketed to the point where “one-third of applications downloaded by a user were from gaming” (188). Even though originally only Apple product apps were available to be downloaded, that is still a very large portion to what people are using their phones for. This shows how much of an impact gaming has had on other devices outside of consoles. People are no longer just using cellphones to communicate with one another; they are buying smartphones to also play games.

Mobile technology has also impacted gaming because it has created a whole new category to playing games: “mobile gaming”. In the past decade, mobile gaming has changed the norms of playing virtual games. One reason is that “women are more likely to play mobile games’ (Katz 404). In the past , a typical video gamer was a young male and now mobile gaming has helped to increase the numbers of female gamers. Another way that mobile technology has shaped gaming is because “mobile games are for mobile lifestyles”. Users no longer have to buy an entire console just to play a game. They can now find similar – if not the same – games for a much lower price. This is beneficial to gamers who are not as serious about gaming but would still like to enjoy the act of playing a video game.

Mobile gaming has also shaped gaming overall because it is now a threat to other forms of video games. Mobile games are no longer just popular games that were around previously on other platforms. They are now new gaming applications that were never seen before. Consalvo argues that Angry Birds is one of the greatest successes of mobile gaming. (Consalvo 193). She feels that even though people did not know what Angry birds was it was a huge success because people of all ages were playing it. Angry Birds was intended to reach users who were not as serious about gaming as those who regularly play. Not only was this game being downloaded but there were also many toys and product made because of how successful this game became. This game available on mobile devices – along with many others – shows that mobile gaming can compete at the same level as other video games and consoles.

Gaming is still very popular to this day and available on many different platforms. Gaming has shaped mobile technologies because overtime the games originally available on cell phones were designed from games previously on computers. The iPhone has also been a huge success in the popularity of mobile gaming because now a large portion of storage from phones is being used towards mobile games. On the other hand, mobile technologies have shaped gaming because women are now playing more video games than before. Also, mobile gaming is now seen at the same eye level as other forms of video games because of games like Angry Birds, which has had great success. Overall, gaming and mobile technologies will continue to advance and contribute to one another’s success.

Citations

Bellis, M. (2014, March 5). The History of Computer and Video Games. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blcomputer_videogames.htm

Consalvo, M. (2012). Slingshot to Victory. In Moving data: The iphone and the future of media (pp. 187 – 189, 190-193). New York, New York: Columbia University Press.

Katz, J. (2008). Mobile Games and Entertainment. In Handbook of mobile communication studies (pp. 404 – 408). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

How Mobile Application Growth Affects Mobile Games

In the past video games and the people who played them had acquired a negative stigma of being mainly young men as well as being an expensive hobby. Looking at the current generation video games consoles (Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Wii U) we see that even the Wii U, the cheapest console, starts at three hundred dollars. This in turn has created a sort of barrier for someone who is interested in video games as a hobby. Though in recent times the evolution of the cellphone and similar mobile technologies has brought the world an entirely new medium on which to play video games. As mobile technologies have grown more powerful, smaller, and made a move towards touch screens over the keypad we have found ourselves with a very mobile utility device that doubles as a video game console should the user desire to play games.

One of the major mobile technologies to lead this change was the iPhone released in 2007 from Apple which, at its release, did not have any method to add more applications onto the stock device. It wouldn’t be until 2008 that Apple would release their App store and allow for the iPhone and iPod Touch users to download any of the third party apps Apple had approved (Consalvo 2013, pg. 188). This idea of creating a marketplace for users to browse and buy apps was a major change in the way that mobile devices were used. Previously most users were accustomed to the idea of buying a device and having it preloaded with the manufacturer’s stock programs. Giving the user the option to customize and change their devices programs streamlined the process of mobile gaming by making it much easier to play mobile games.

Although the iPhone was certainly not the first device to offer games on the device it was easily the most successful in the United States at providing its user base a plethora of options when it came to applications and likewise increased the amount of games people were willing to play. Unfortunately for Apple, the iPhone is the major phone of use only in the United States but luckily for users there are other contenders such as Google and their Google Play store for Android phones. While the ability to download games easily and quickly onto the phone has increased, the average person is generally not seeking an incredible gaming experience but rather a simple and entertaining game to fill time gaps (Consalvo 2013, pg. 193). It is with this argument that Mia Consalvo makes similar points to another reading written by James Katz and Sophia Krzys Acord about how people view the different groups when video games are involved.

As mentioned earlier video game playing, or gaming, generally carries with it a negative stigma such that most people would not consider themselves gamers even if they play a few games. Specifically most consider computer or console games to be the main way that these “gamers” play different video games almost not even considering mobile technologies as a main source of video games. One of the main distinctions Katz and Acord make is that within each different variation between people you see different ways those people play games using gender, age, race/ethnicity as personal descriptions and then gaming habits/preferences to determine the different types of games and play types these people prefer (Katz and Acord 2008, pg. 404-406). One of the main things that these pieces of information tell us is that people have very different preferences in mobile technologies. For instance in the United States most people have a preference to play simple arcade games such as Tetris vs European gamers favoring action based multiplayer games or that males are generally more likely to download many different games where as women are more likely to get involved deeply in a single game. These ideas illustrate how diverse a market for mobile games can be.

These readings are focusing on different points with Mia Consalvo focusing on how the iPhone specifically has affected the growth of mobile technologies where as James Katz and Sophia Acord focus on the different demographics of people playing mobile games and their preferences. The two arguments talk about different topics but both articles clearly lead to a conclusion that mobile based games are rapidly growing albeit for many different reasons. One of the biggest reasons for this is the general belief that mobile technologies are incredibly widespread and regarded as some as their most important belongings. When leaving their home most people will grab keys, wallet, and a cellphone. It could be argued that to own a cellphone by a certain age is a social norm and it is because of this that mobile games in general have grown into a social norm. As application stores grow and become saturated with millions of games it would be pretty unlikely for someone with even a remote interest in a mobile game to be unable to find one they personally enjoy.

Following the entire the growth of mobile technologies it seems to only make sense that with it the applications, more specifically mobile games, will grow with them. Once the younger generation has time to not only grow up with these technologies but also for the older generation to also adopt them it is only a matter of time for the entire user base of mobile technologies to eventually either adopt mobile games or at least try them out.

Katz, J., & Acord, S. (2008). Mobile Games and Entertainment. Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies, 402-418.

Consalvo, M. (2012). Slingshot to Victory: Games, Play, and the iPhone. Moving Data: The IPhone and the Future of Media, 184-193.

Mobile Gaming Apps and Technology

 

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.

 

Work Cited:

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