Why We Play Mobile Games


As a background, I was addicted to mobile games in university. I played more than 300 mobile games according to my purchase history. But not until now, after I learned about game design and developed the view as a game developer, did I get a clue why it happened. And it is not only for me. Mobile games are making rediculous amount of money over years. In this article I will share three simple points about why I and many other people would have addiction to mobile games.

First of all, of course, these games are designed to be very addictive from the very first place. This "addictive", mostly "engaging", includes thousands of elaborated details. It will take a book to discuss all the tricks mobile games use to build up their engagement, while here I will just use some examples. Colors used by popular mobile games are very bright and rich, which makes continuous visual stimulation. Visual effects like particles and screen shaking while objects breaking makes players feel powerful. Level designs and puzzle designs make the progress smooth, not so difficult (or even easy), while the players still feel smart. Social medias are connected to introduce sticky competition and potential punishments. Similar contents are made in large quantities. It is tricky keeping players curious while actually doing little innovation. And many many more methods. After all, mobile games are truely textbooks of making people addictive.

Secondly, mobile is a perfect platform to nurturize addictions. It has numerous users. It is super convenient to use. Mordern people keep smartphones with them all the time, providing chances to play in fragmental times, like while waiting for friends or riding a bus. There are so many daily-used apps are on smartphones that no matter advertising, account binding or purchasing becomes rather easy with one simple touch. Since smartphone users are so used to doing everything through one simple touch, when mobile games extend it they feel smooth and warm without considering the principles behind. Mobile game developers seize that moment of passion, building fun and making money with it.

Finally, the addiction comes from our own minds. Although mordern culture has been widespread, actually the Industrial Revolution was only less than 200 years ago and the Technological Revolution only 100 years ago. Before them, the economy, culture and social structure were totally different ———— but stable. For thousands of years, people lived with their faiths and life styles, stories told and theories exploited. Revolutions brought us productivity and fed our physical bodies, but also broke those faiths and life styles. Mordern culture is still under exploration of fulfilling human souls. Especially in developing countries, when the old and new cultures collide with each other, confusion takes the majority of people. But not everybody can realize what they really need behind the peaceful life; or even if they realize it, it is difficult (or even impossible) to find solutions. Entertainment is just an anesthetic of the mordern mundane in replacement of our faiths.