Distraction vs. Engagement (or why I don’t play mobile games)

Mobile games are certainly the hot topic in the games industry right now, and rightly so. They are selling like hotcakes, and many of them are very, very good. I myself get very excited and buy many game. However, I never find myself playing them. I must have 50 games on my iPhone I have bought and never played. So I ask myself, why am I not playing these games? I think I finally hit on the answer, I don’t play games as a distraction.

10 Minutes to Kill

If I have a spare 10-15 minutes, I will not play a game. I find this too little time to become truly engaged, to really soak in the enjoyment I find from games, so I eschew playing them entirely. When I do find what I deem an adequate time to play a game, say an hour or two, why would I play a mobile game? Compared to a PC or console games they pale in comparison as far as depth is concerned and that tiny screen cannot compete with my 56″ TV. While touchscreen controls can truly offer a unique experience you cannot elsewhere, they are more often a hindrance, trying to unsuccessfully emulate console controls. Even when it’s done right, I find another issue, the distraction of mobile controls.

Control Distraction

When I directly control a game with a controller, I controls become transparent, they are no longer there. My hands are in my lap, my focus is 100% on the game  onscreen. However, on mobile, my big stupid hands are right in front of my face and the screen, even on top of the character I am controlling. The controls never get lost or become transparent. They are constantly grabbing my attention and I can never get lost in the game.

I want to like mobile games. I really do. I am working on a mobile game myself. So much of the interesting, new game design is happening on mobile but I just cannot get past these issues. At least now I understand my reticence to play mobile games.


Understandable, what you said makes a lot of sense. You’re a true gamer.


Hey brad project exonaut is acting strange for me and alot of players at cartoon networks forum. its saying (invalid data file) are you doing a update or is it just some bug?


Thanks for the heads up.


Should be fixed now, thanks again for the alert.


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