Trends in Mobile Games: Tedious Time Wasters


Jack Hamilton and Cami Hannah are engrossed by their phones during class.

The ever pervasive mobile game. A trend in today’s culture that seemingly has no bound, no marketing cap, and virtually endless revenue opportunities. The industry is so large there’s full-scale primetime TV commercials aimed solely at attracting a larger player-base. I’m guilty of falling into a few trends myself, but the influence that these games can have on defining the world around us is astonishing.

Let’s take it back to middle school, bright-eyed kids with a great future. We were all so innocent. Well mostly. Anyways, a mobile game for the ages was about to take the school by storm. Two words. Flappy. Bird. In an instant our entire middle school experience was revolutionized. Everybody who was anybody had the game, and was comparing high scores. At lunch, in the classroom, before and after school. It was such a simplistic concept but our feeble minds couldn’t get enough.

Flash forward to this last summer. Things are heating up, and the talk of the town was about to drop. Pokemon GO, another smash hit mobile game that took everyone and tricked them into actually going outside for the summer. There was news coverage, muggings, drama, trespassing, and droves of people out catching virtual pocket monsters. And it was so ripping fun, I have so many fond memories of those first few days of hunting, I can’t even explain it, but it was magical.

I have so many games I’ve been meaning to play that are just sitting on my shelf, cold cut classics that I just can’t find the time for. And yet I sit here tapping away on some pointless game. Why is that? Senior Lauren Suzuki said “It can occupy you for not a long period of time, you can easily stop and do something else.” And this rings true. For a lot of other traditional activities, you have to stop and devote an hour or more to enjoy them, but with mobile games, a few minutes here and there, or while you’re watching TV can mean a lot of playtime for such a simple game. When asked, sophomore Cami Hannah said, “It’s just a waste of time. A lot of people play to compete with their friends. I don’t have friends.”

Albeit a little grim, Cami makes a good point, a lot of these games end up being community and friendship driven, with the spikes in popularity only being possible because of friends playing together. Sophomore Jack Hamilton doesn’t see the appeal, however. He said “It’s not really interesting. I have temple run on my phone, but that’s about it. It allows me to not procrastinate.” While devotion to his schoolwork is an imbued trait in Hamilton, he swears by his method of limiting his options to put things off with.

Mobile games are fun, community driven, and easy to pick up and play. They can spread like wildfire. But in the end, all they are are pointless. They have no meaning or true accomplishments behind them. They’re only here as a distraction. Do you want to play?