… of the Month: Apps?

How much of an impact do apps and social media games really have on the overall videogame universe?

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iphonePresent-Question About Gaming-Future of the Month…
How Much of an Impact do Apps and Social Media Games Really Have on the Overall Videogame Universe?

By now nearly everyone (especially everyone who visits this website) has had some experience with new gaming trends, specifically games connected to social media sites (apparently they’ve developed into more than zombies biting each other), as well as apps for smart phones and tablets. Self-proclaimed gamers and non-gamers alike have all, at one time or another, found themselves wrapped up in an addictive puzzle app, or raising strawberries on a virtual farm. It’s gotten to the point where portrayals of videogames on TV have changed to compensate.

It used to be that you’d watch a show and see a lazy attempt to recreate a console game, using outdated graphics, shoddy animations, and chiptunes (Whoa dude, you have an XStation? Let’s play Twisted Speed!) Now, however, you’re more likely to catch a reference to an app like Angry Birds, or that ridiculous talking cat. Even I’ll admit, I did sit around for a while playing Gurk 2 on my Droid while Final Fantasy XIII-2 sat on my shelf, unopened (though now that I’ve played XIII-2 and have a giant frog in a top hat on my team, I’m never playing anything else).

Is it just the simplicity and relative convenience of these games that make them so appealing? I do think that sometimes the simplest games are far more enjoyable than more complicated ones that can often get bogged down in their own mechanics (Magna Carta: Tears of Blood, I’m looking at you.) But, for someone ready to drop dozens to hundreds of hours into gaming, can an app ever really cut it?

My question to the readers this time: Can apps and social media games contend with even the handheld gaming market, or are they not to be taken seriously as legitimate videogames?


Oh, and for the record, I did not make up the fake example of a videogame (Twisted Speed, for XStation). Nope, that’s a real thing that was said on The Glades.

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About the Contributor

From 2002 to 2013


  1. I think buttons might be the first step in making the iDevices a platform for more gamery games. Like, I know that RPGs and platformers EXIST on the iPhone, but I’m reluctant to try them out because I’m not sure how a virtual button on a touch screen can compare to using an actual button.

  2. What I love about these smaller games is that they’re leading videogames back to the good old days; when they were all about fun!

    I’d hate someone telling me that fancier graphics and complicated mechanics makes a real videogame, and I can’t help but feel sorry for Nintendo .

      1. I have been recently re-discovering the wonders of smaller games, but not on iOS–on the big-boy consoles. Downloadable games are my JAM now; I get to pay the price I actually want to pay for a videogame, and I’m not stuck playing this one game for the entire rest of the calendar year because it’s so damn long.

        I don’t mind an epic AAA 60-hour marathon-game every now and again (particularly when they’re story-heavy), but these smaller-scale games really get at the heart of what pulled me into gaming in the first place.

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