The Revolution of “Gaming”

Rachel Labarre, A&E Editor

Although I have never been a huge “gamer,” I have definitely gone through my fair share of Nintendo, Gamecube, and Wii phases. However, I can honestly say that at this moment I cannot remember the last time I sat down on my couch, with a console in my hand, and played a traditional video game. The reason? Video games have gone mobile.

It’s like a revolution – walk through the hallways of our prestigious high school and expect to find students on their iPhones playing Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Scramble with Friends, Temple Run, or Draw Something. Being an iPhone wannabe, I am forced to play all of these games on my iPad if I want to keep up with the new trend. Who wants to feel completely out of the loop at lunch when their peers are staring at their phone screens and asking how to draw a poodle or Miley or a fireball?

With the increasing popularity of iPhone games, the more traditional video games have to find a way to keep up. So games such as Mario Kart or Final Fantasy have began to remake and re-release their older games on new mediums such as iPhones and Andriods, testifying to their increasing popularity among the younger, more mobile generation.

Zygna, the company that produces Words, Hanging, and Scramble with Friends, admitted that its games have taken over the young society. In a Wall Street Journal article, Scott Rudin, a member of the Zynga company said,   “We are totally disrupting the traditional videogames industry. A huge portion of that disruption is the ability to use data.”

So now the question is: who cares if iPhone gaming is on the rise? I’ve concluded that since that students can play games at all times in the day and don’t actually have to sit down and dedicate a fixed amount of time to their gaming, they are spending much more time playing games and are becoming much more distracted. A parent can no longer ground a child from playing their Xbox video games for a week because the child will simply go into his or her room, whip out his or her iPhone and resume playing behind closed doors. Or the child will play in the hallways. Or during lunch. Or during class.

Imagine Game Network (IGN) found that the average gaming consumer now spends four more hours each week playing games compared to 2008 – a 40% increase. IGN also notes that “the majority of that growth can be attributed to mobile, online, and social gaming.”

Zynga gives gamers the ability to play with their Facebook friends, probably a reason why it has grown in popularity. Everyday when I open the app I get a notification “14 new friends are playing” and the total number rises to 356, then 378, then 402, and so on. So even someone like me who was never so addicted to playing video games has turned to this form of entertainment. Well, you know what they say – if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.