Our phones and gaming

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| October 18, 2012


When I was a young lady and carried flip phones, I remember spending a lot of time I would normally spend “waiting” (doctor’s office, bus rides, maybe even a couple of classes but you didn’t hear that from me) playing games like Snake and Tetris. It was like being able to carry around a little Gameboy that only had two games on it, but it could also make phone calls and send texts. The games might have been simple, but they did their job by keeping me entertained.

As newer phones would come out, such as messaging phones, better games were made since there was access to more buttons. Even my Katana II had games like Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Assassin’s Creed (albeit a very watered down version). It was already becoming apparent – even then, when phones couldn’t do much – that phones would grow to be able to do countless and amazing things for us.

Blackberry was probably the next phone to take the next step in phone gaming, as they made an adaption of two Final Fantasy games originally released for the Nintendo. I enjoyed playing the first one until I pressed a button too hard and somehow cracked my housing, which I’m still not sure how that happened seeing as Final Fantasy is a turn-based RPG. Serious business, I guess. My phone had been through a lot already at that point so that was probably just the icing on the cake. Alas, gaming could only get better with the release of touch screen devices.

Actually, the first touch screen I owned (Samsung Instinct) didn’t have much to offer when it came to gaming. It actually went back a step and basically had the same selection of games from my Katana. But when the big dogs rolled out (iOS and Android) is when the gaming started getting really good.

Now, when I say really good, I’m talking about Angry Birds or (my personal favorite) Dragon Fly!, but more along the lines of taking mobile phone gaming to the next level: MMORPGs. For those that don’t know, MMORPG means Multi Massive Online Role Playing Game. Online! That means we’re able to use our phones to play games with other people, which I still find pretty amazing.

You’ve got a pretty decent selection of MMO games such as Pocket Legends, Celtic Heroes, and Order & Chaos. There’s so many out there now, and new ones being developed every day. It’s a whole separate world of gaming, yet still very similar to what we have available to us on more popular gaming platforms. I don’t think that mobile gaming is on par with console or PC gaming, naturally, but I suspect that it won’t take long before it gets to that point.

Another great thing about the advancements in gaming on smartphones is that you can incorporate emulators with them, so you can play your favorite old Nintendo, Super Nintendo, even N64 games on your phone. There’s even been phones whose hardware has been made specifically for gaming (Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, anyone?) which work great for emulators – not so great as phones, in my opinion, but that was just my experience.

Basically, I love the fact that we’re able to incorporate games with our phones. I love video games, always have and always will, and now I don’t always have to wish that I had more time for games. During those down times I’d normally spend just waiting, I can play decent games without having to haul around (yet another) device. I find games a great way to relieve the stresses of day-to-day life whether it’s an MMO, a puzzle, or a point-and-click. I feel like the gaming industry is making a good push by advancing gaming in smartphones as it has been over the past years.

So, fellow gaming phone-fanatics, do you use your phones for gaming, or do you prefer to keep your gaming device separate from your phone? Let me know what you think!

Image via Gadgetlite