A generation of secret gamers are hiding in plain sight…
I have a confession to make: I’m a secret gamer, and I had absolutely no idea. When I think of gamers, you’ll have to forgive me for the cliché but I imagine the hardcore Call of Duty addicts who sit in their rooms for hours on end battling aliens and such like. But it turns out I was wrong (and it’s not very often I’ll admit that).
Casual gaming is sweeping the nation, and you too could be clueless of its powerful grips. Ever heard of Candy Crush Saga? Yeah? Well if you (like a lot of the world’s population) can be found matching the candies and popping the jellies, then you too are in my situation. Although I’ve given up on my quest for Candy Crush domination after being defeated by level 432, I, like many others before me, have spent agonising hours whiling away my time on the game. When I encountered levels in Candy Crush that I struggled with, I looked for other games, delving into the App Store to download other gems such as Bejeweled Blitz, Papa Pear Saga and Angry Birds.
So what is it that has us flinging birds around for fun? When did we stop seeking activity outdoors?
To date, more people have downloaded Angry Birds than populate the entire country of Brazil, by quite a margin. Brazil is home to a little over 200 million residents, which pales in comparison to the 2 billion downloads that Angry Birds boasts. Candy Crush Saga was more widely accessed even than Twitter at the start of this year as it played host to 93 million active users. The game counted for 78% of King Digital’s revenue, with players splashing out on power-ups and extra ‘lives’.
The presence of mobile technology in our lives has somewhat increased over the past few years, right? Last year, sales of tablets alone increased 63%, with over 195 million units being produced worldwide. The way in which we engage with the world and with each other has transformed entirely, bringing us into a state of digital dependence which has completely eclipsed many hobbies of old. The access we have to games on the go has skyrocketed, so no longer do we have to sit down with a console to immerse ourselves in an alternate universe; they’re ready and waiting for us on our phones, tablets and other portable devices. And aren’t they fun! Advances in graphic design and the never-ending improvements in screen technology are creating a home specifically for gaming; the high quality resolution of your phone is designed to draw you into these games.
Globally, the sale of video games reaps a revenue of over 100 billion dollars. When I really stop to think about the numbers of gamers out there who are unaware of their contribution to this figure, it makes me wonder just how much of it comes from the secret gamers of the tablet age… Even taking out the hardcore gamers of myth and legend who are stereotypically found glued to a specially engineered gaming chair surrounded by snacks, the world we live in today is still jam-packed full of Temple Runners, Angry Bird flingers and Candy Crushers.
And didn’t we all have a jolly good time on The Sims back in the day?