Saturday, July 13, 2024

Yes, Smartphone downloads are still considered gayming

Can’t we just pick up a controller and enjoy the experience without pointing fingers?

When I’m not searching Twitter for scary movie news and word on the upcoming Danity Kane album (I’m not joking, Google it), I find myself browsing video game statuses thanks to my job here at Gayming Magazine.

I never jump into virtual conversations because the internet can be an ugly, ugly place, but I’ve seen a topic come up a few times that I disagree with wholeheartedly. And seeing that this is my platform, I want to take a minute to voice my concerns, while backing up my opinion.

If you couldn’t tell by the title of this article, I’m going to speak on mobile games and their contribution to our culture as gaymers. I’ve seen many, many threads online with self-proclaimed champion gamers and the elite better than the “newbs” criticizing those that play mobile games while also wearing the gaymer/gamer moniker. The naysayers in this debate claim that mobile gaming is not real gaming, and that anyone playing on handheld devices are missing the real experience and lack devotion to the world of video games. I, of course, disagree with those sentiments.

Let’s look at mobile games economically. Video games made $135,000,000,000 in 2018 alone, through physical discs, downloads/streams and console sales. Pokemon Go is listed as earning $1,300,000,000 in 2018. When you subtract that figure from the year-round total, and all other mobile games at that, the video game gross revenue starts dropping at a fast pace. For arguments sake, here’s more sales numbers. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood made $43,400,000 in 2014. Roblox made $30,000,000 in 2017. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery made $55,000,000 in 2018. And that’s just the top apps in my app store!

But why do cell phone apps make so much money? Because of in-app purchases. While the majority of mobile games are free to play, they offer in-app purchases to speed the story along and intensify the game-play. This is perhaps one of the many reasons why mobile apps make more money than traditional video games. Unless DLC content is released down the line, buying a disc or streaming a game is a one and done deal; where-as apps such as Pokemon Go are always adding new content that spurs players to drop dollar after dollar after dollar. Without the success of mobile games, it’s possible that many developers and publishers wouldn’t be releasing console titles in the future.

Another reason why mobile apps are still considered true video games lies in the graphics, game-play, story progression and sound effects. Until better cell phones come along (can you imagine?), we’re stuck with the same look and feel in every mobile game in the Android and iOS stores. But if we rewind time a little more, I think it’s safe to say they have the same functionality and intensity as arcade games, early PC titles, and the great classics of the Atari and Sega Genesis. Are old-school platforms now considered fake gaming? How often do you hook up one of the predecessors to the PlayStation and XBox and relive your childhood or a generation past? If low quality and landscapes void of open world opportunity were/are considered games, why not mobile apps with the same style?

Finally, playing video games is more than the experience at your television screen or on the computer. It’s a customization filled with genres, merchandise, creature comforts and community discussion. Your break from reality is what you make it out to be. Your way of relaxing after a long day might include sitting in bed and tapping away at your cell phone screen. If that’s what brings you joy, who’s right is it to dictate your video game likes and dislikes? Hell, the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation Vita are move-able consoles that let you bring the joy of the television to your lap, no matter if you’re in the bathtub or in a library. Are we supposed to write them off as not real consoles now, too? Just boot up and enjoy!

Even though the rights and acceptance of LGBT people has grown in recent years, we’re still looked down on as a minority in some areas of the world – even in our own country. We still need to stand together with a singular voice, and not pick each other apart over something as simple as video games.

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