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Identity Crisis: Gamer Edition
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Identity Crisis: Gamer Edition

SARAH DOYLE 08.06.2017 8 MINS

I am a mobile game player. Not an unusual thing to admit to, and in fact globally more than 1.5 billion people play mobile games, and the market is worth billions annually. So really, this is actually very common, and yet, I am ashamed to admit it because I just can’t shake the unfaithful feeling after the years of having been a dedicated video game player.

I’ve been hooked on gaming since I was a kid, first booting up Pokémon Yellow, and shrieking round the TV playing Mario Party on the Nintendo 64 with my friends.

Gaming inevitably started to get a little trickier as I got older, trying to fit it around university, work, social commitments and life in general. Particularly within the last two years I noticed a decline in my console usage, I was starting to spend much more time (and even money) on mobile games.

And now I find myself investing time in RPG games that I would usually play at home; squeezing in quests during my commute, organising raids or solving murder investigations in Pret a Manger and all kinds of other weird and wonderful things. Technology has and continues to evolve, as has the way in which we game.

Gaming is no longer just a time killer on a brick-style phone, it has become something far beyond this. We are now immersed in worlds, game communities with beautiful design, exciting action and innovative features. 

It seemed initially the traditional big names in the video game industry were slow to catch on to this shift in gaming habits, whilst Indie studios leapt at the chance to produce the amazingly successful games such as Monument Valley, Jetpack Joyride and Angry Birds to name a few.

Mobile games were still viewed as more of a support or companion to a console game by big name publishers; an example of this is Bethesda’s app ‘Fallout Pip-Boy’. A Pip-Boy is a device used within the massively popular console series ‘Fallout’ that guides you through the wastelands. Essentially the app was a skin of this, which acted as a nice support to the main franchise. However they also created ‘Fallout Shelter’ originally to support the release of Fallout 4 in 2015; but made a quirky and captivating stand-alone game, which is successful to this day.

Games publisher Square Enix has whole-heartedly embraced the new mobile game market, expanding the popular console series ‘Final Fantasy’ and ‘Tomb Raider’ with independent mobile games.

Although we’ve seen Nintendo edging towards mobile gaming too with mixed success with Super Mario Run, some of the failure came from not understanding how players spend their money, a reluctance to being forced to spend money to unlock a full game as the tutorial levels are free.

So it’s okay, I admit it - I love my mobile games - but I love my PS4 too. And it may be the case that mobile games won’t be replacing consoles anytime soon, especially when both formats keep pushing the boundaries of technology and creativity, raising them to new heights.

So ultimately, we get the best of both worlds, and us gamers and fans are the real winners here. 

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