VIDEO GAMING ARTICLES
Mobile Gaming - Everything To Play
by: Christopher Smith
Chances are that you or someone you know is affected by
the mobile gaming virus. There is a lot of it about and
developments in technology are helping it to spread like
wildfire. Even if you do not consider yourself a gamer
you could one day be exposed to its effects. All it takes
is a Java-enabled mobile phone and there are already over
150 million of them in the US alone.
What we are really talking about of course is the growth
in popularity of mobile gaming; in other words, playing
games on your mobile phone. Mobile gaming is set to become
big business in 2004 as the number of BREW (Binary Runtime
Environment for Wireless) and Java-enabled mobile phones
in circulation continues to grow. In addition, manufacturers
are continually adding colored screens and advanced features
to their latest models, making mobile gaming a rich and
vibrant experience for users.
The games themselves are readily available from a wide
range of sources and can be easily downloaded from numerous
web sites, with prices starting at $2.99 or less. There
is something for everyone with games ranging from favorites
such as PacMan, chess and checkers to motor racing, jet-skiing
and even erotic games.
Many people consider online gaming to be a predominantly
male activity and a young male activity at that. Last
fall, at a conference on mobile gaming, Mark Stanger from
game developers Eidos suggested that 92% of PlayStation
2 players are men. Whilst it is probably true that online
and console gamers are mainly male (how many women do
you know that own a Sony PlayStation 2) analysis suggests
that mobile phone gaming could be encouraging a growing
percentage of women to play games.
Downloading games to a mobile phone can be done from anywhere.
Women do not need to venture into the testosterone-laden
atmosphere of game shops and this may account for why
an increasing number of females are entering the world
of mobile gaming. Interestingly, it also appears that
women are playing the more traditional games such as solitaire
and backgammon rather than the 'shoot 'em dead' kind.
Just as more women are playing games, so to are an increasing
number of older people. Figures from the Entertainment
Software Association released in August 2003 indicate
that a full 17% of game players are over age 50, up from
13% in 2000.
This would suggest that gamers are an increasingly diverse
group and the appeal of gaming is spreading across the
sexes and across different ages and socio-economic backgrounds.
People seem to be more and more at ease playing games
on consoles, online and now on mobile phones.
With growing awareness of mobile gaming, improved and
ever-wider distribution channels for mobile games, and
an increasing degree of comfort with payment and delivery
over the air amongst subscribers, everything points to
an explosion in growth. This translates into a multi-billion
dollar market for providers of mobile technology, game
developers and retailers and a completely new way of looking
at mobile phones.
Copyright © 2004, Christopher Smith
About the Author
Christopher Smith is a marketer and copywriter.