I Was a Mobile Games Hater

…until I got an iPhone for Christmas. Nothing has been the same since.

Let me explain myself: I didn’t want an iPhone. I didn’t ask for it. As my friends were assimilated into the world of Apple one by one, devoured in their tweeting and thrumming Apple ecosystems, I resisted. I didn’t need an iPhone. I had generic LG smartphones that cost $50 and had to be replaced every two years. I could check my mail and Facebook on them, maybe tweet a little, and that was all I needed. I didn’t care for a fancy-shmacy iPhone with a bajillion apps and Angry Birds and a basically built-in iPod. I owned a Blackberry once, and I hated it. I hated how it felt in my hands, hated having something so complicated just so I could check my email on the go. I got rid of it and switched to an LG Ally — the generic, poor-man’s Android.

But then I grew up, and the work I did made it necessary to constantly be in touch with the great wide world. And so my loving parents, always supportive of my kooky hobbies and dreams,  surprised me with a white iPhone 4S for Christmas (about a month early) and declared that I was now ready to be a big girl.I was flooded with suggestions that sounded more like demands. I was to download Jetpack Joyride and Angry Birds immediately, maybe Bejeweled, and Fruit Ninja if I had the time. Also Words With Friends, because there was no way I’d be able to live without getting in on that action. I ignored all of them.

You see, I’m not what you would commonly call a “casual” gamer (though I understand the labels “casual” and “hardcore” gamer do not truly exist anymore). Yes, I pick up games when I’m bored, but I never hit the start button without a purpose. I could sit for hours and play Angry Birds, but where’s the reward in that? Something to occupy my brain to make my morning commute go faster? Part of the reason I turned my nose up at the iPhone is the first place was that I didn’t see a need for these games. I didn’t want them. I game to be stimulated, to submerge myself in something all-encompassing and satisfying. I want games with plots, people who talk to me, crazy music. The idea of “casual” iOS games like Jetpack Joyride just doesn’t turn me on like the prospect of settling on my couch for a wild night with Odin Sphere or Uncharted 3.

I Was a Mobile Games Hater

By no means am I dismissing iOS games, oh no. I just wasn’t in it for a quick fix — I acknowledge that other people want it, need it, but I’m a different breed and it takes quite a bit more immersion for my fancy to be tickled.

Until, that is, I got with the program and realized just what was out there for picky-pants gamers like myself.

At the suggestion of a friend I downloaded Chaos Rings, Media.Vision’s dungeon-crawl RPG exclusive to iOS and Android. It’s a simple little game, but terribly engrossing. Then came Sword and Sworcery EP. I forwent using my kanji flashcard app and getting a head start on emails so I could squeeze in a half hour of gameplay during the morning. I played Mage Gaunlet standing over the stove while sauces burned and pots boiled over. And because I’m a sucker for the games, I downloaded Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana and went at them while I waited for my computer or PS3 to boot up.

When I started missing my train stop and bumping into parking meters as I walked, I knew that I was a dirty, dirty hypocrite.

I Was a Mobile Games Hater

Not only was I an asshat for being verbose in my disdain for the iPhone and its plethora of apps and games, but I was addicted to iOS RPGs. I was so intent on keeping handheld gaming to specifically-designed handhelds like the PSP and 3DS.  The idea of mobile games, “cellphone games,” made me clutch my pearls in horror. Games on your phone? Who would play games on their phone when they could play them on a system with the sole purpose of allow them to game on the go?

Me. I would. I would play games on my phone.

The more time I spend with it, the more I am realizing how brilliant this little piece of equipment is, and what it means for the future of gaming in general. (Yes, this is the same person who had an orgasm over the PS Vita.) I am heinously late to jump on the bandwagon, and a concede to join you mobile gamers with my tail between my legs in shame. Most individuals today keep their cellphone on them at all times. People who don’t normally identify themselves as gamers may soon be inducted into the fold just by picking up  Angry Birds  or Popcorn Dragon. What’s to stop them from branching out from there? And what’s to stop current gamers from spending less time in front of the television and more getting their fix on the go? In a world as busy as ours, we are no longer limited by our surroundings, or even our resources.

I Was a Mobile Games Hater

The future of gaming is becoming more mobile. The stigma of being a gamer no longer conjures the image of a basement dweller; no, we are everywhere, with our iPads and iPhones and PS Vita’s snugly in our purses and pockets. The available number of games for mobile phones is astounding. The rules are being rewritten, and you can only (like me) refuse to look at them so long before the inevitable happens. Don’t be such an old fart.

The mobile games industry is erecting an empire, and “casual” and “hardcore” gamers alike are flocking to pay homage at its temples. It’s easy, it’s fluid, it’s great for people like me who don’t want to interact with others on public transportation. The gamers are coming out into the sunlight, and carrying their worlds and their weapons in their pockets. This isn’t a bad thing.


Join the Discussion

  • Tanto

    I feel bad for you that you need to play garbage games.

    IOS games are leagues below even gameboy games. LEAGUES.

    chaos rings? Are you kidding me? Its would be a weak and lame rpg on the ds or psp.

    • Dingo

      You are so right.

    • Al

      Your going to tell me that GTA 3 is leagues below anything? Come on. iOS is growing and just wait until more houses start pushing the power of the iPad to pump out quality titles.

      Then you have titles like Angry Birds or Jetpack Joyride that are just addictive and fun.

      Also your statement about how many consoles is dwarfed by how many cell phones are sold.

      • he may not. But I will. GTA 3 on iDevices is technically not even on par with Vice City on PSP, let’s not even get to compare it with anything on PS Vita or 3DS (or even newer games on PSP), because it’s like putting it into a grinder and pulling it out in pieces 😀

        And I’m not even getting into how massively and teethgrinding uncomfortable it is to play that kind of game without actual buttons, because it’d be like shooting on an ambulance. It just wouldn’t even be fair.

        Fact is, though, that Alexa isn’t saying that games on idevices will replace anything. She’s not making comparisons. 

        Simply because those comparisons have no reasons to exist. iDevices are massively inferior to dedicated game consoles for games. It’s pretty much a given.

        There’s no game on any iDevice that doesn’t come out broken when compared with it’s version or any equivalent on a dedicated gaming console, portable or not. 

        But again, Alexa isn’t making a comparison or downplaying dedicated gaming consoles, so I don’t see why people are acting like she was.

  • Tanto

    The future of gaming is mobile?

    Try telling that to the millions of consoles and 3ds/vitas that sell weekly.

    • John

      You mean the same Vita that sold 325,000 units it’s first week, 72,000 the second and 42,000 the third? Yeah it’s doing AMAZING. 

      • Actually 450,000 units in three weeks in one country are nothing to scoff at.

        Just for the record.

      • Anonymous

        This IS Japan we’re talking about…games would be lucky to sell 325,000 units in one week, let alone hardware. People tend to forget that.

  • stealth

    mobile has nothing even on a gameboy………..I mean its kinda laughable.
    People point to infinite blade. Sure the game looks pretty but the game
    has 0 depth, 100 blah factor. It just isnt a good game. Its a good time
    waster. If it were on the ds or psp, it would probably be remembered as
    the worst rpg on the platform 3ds is breaking all records, and the vita has sold more in 2 weeks than the psp, psx, ps2 did ( thats a fact). So the idea that someone “mobile is taking over” is as ridiculous as the notion that pc gaming is taking over. You might own one. but only half the people game on them I have dq monsters joker 2 in my ds, mario land 3ds in my 3ds, and ff type zero in my psp.
    You cant get original deep, games that control well on the ios. Thats
    just how it is. Square likes to throw ported portable bones. But those
    games like crono trigger and like secret of mana weve had access to for
    years. The real original stuff goes to real handhelds. Look at what square is putting on the 3ds, and then compare.


  • Jack

    The question is will you be playing your Vita or on your iPhone?