我必须声称，我真的非常喜欢手机游戏。实际上我的电脑已经坏了3周了，但是我却不能否认我的口袋中藏着一个具有吸引力的完整世界，即使这些世界从传统意义上来看是肤浅的，甚至是具有剥削性的。并且比起想那些在PS Vita和任天堂3DS等平台上的掌机游戏，手机游戏拥有更强大的易用性。实际上手机不行那些传统的掌上游戏设备那么笨重（即使是我那台巨大的Galaxy Note也比我的3DS轻巧），甚至我们可以只使用一只手去操控许多手机设备玩游戏（有时候甚至只需要一根手指）。更不能否认的一点是，在如今的时代里我们几乎始终都带着自己的手机，所以在出门的时候我们也可以轻轻松松在手机上玩游戏。
实际上我可以说，如果手机游戏想拥有一个明朗的未来，那么阻碍它们的第一个也是最大的障碍之一便是这个。即不管是《剑与巫术》，《房间》，《辐射：避难所》，或者是《骑士经理》，我们拥有许许多多基于非道德商业方式去欺骗你或你的小孩投入大量钱财但却一无所获的低成本游戏—-这里存在源源不断的“上瘾”与“浪费时间的元素。你大可以去搜索Google Play Store上那些拥有最高评级的游戏评价。你会发现瘾性通常都是开发者最突出的元素，紧接着才是消耗时间或其它变量。
AR游戏和休闲游戏没有理由不能提供给我们一些具有实质性的内容。《Pokemon Go！》便履行了经过《Ingress》的尝试后游戏所兑现的承诺。我意识到许多人“玩过”《Ingress》，但是它作为游戏而不只是“到这里并按压按键”的模拟器的价值却是有问题的。而《Pokemon Go！》提供了比这一前辈更多的游戏内容，Niantic也承诺将会往游戏中添加更多内容。不管我们是否能在游戏最终没落前看到这些，这都向我们表明了游戏的前进方向，而虽然这有待争议，但却不能否定其作为手机平台能够传达怎样的内容的范例的价值。
而为了看到这样的结果，媒体便需要一些领头军的出现，不过我不认为任天堂便是那个领头军。因为任天堂是一家公司，而公司的目标通常就是赚钱。手机游戏所需要的是愿意在该媒体上冒险的空想主义者，即能够跳脱笼罩于手机游戏市场的金钱束缚。但这肯定需要投入许许多多的努力。当然我们拥有像《最终幻想》系列和《这是我的战争》等成功移植到手机平台上的游戏，甚至像《剑与巫术》等一开始便以手机为目标平台的游戏。但这些游戏却都未曾去利用该媒体，去挑战它，并向我们展示它。而我认为增强现实便是我们迈向手机游戏文艺复兴的第一步，但我们还需要更多愿意去参与其中，并向我们展示出除了吸引鲸鱼玩家以及从家长那里赚钱外手机游戏到底还能够做些什么。手机游戏需要像Notch，Jonathan Blow和Phil Fish等真正相信该媒体并愿意给予其机会的人。
Mobile, not virtual reality, is the future of gaming
by Reid Gacke
I have a confession to make: I completely and unironically love mobile games. Maybe it’s the fact that my computer has been dead for going on three weeks now, but I can’t deny that there is something very appealing about the idea of having an entire world in my pocket, even if those worlds have, traditionally, been shallow and unrealized, even exploitative. There’s also something about mobile gaming that’s even more accessible than portable games like those found on the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS. Perhaps it’s the fact that phones are somewhat less clunky than your typical portable gaming device (even my behemoth of a Galaxy Note is less bulky than my 3DS), or maybe the fact that a lot of them can be played with one hand – one finger even in some cases, and it’s hard to deny that, in this day and age, we pretty much always have our phones with us anyways, so it’s no real inconvenience to pocket the thing on your way out the door.
It’s also somewhat more culturally acceptable for me, as an adult man, to have my nose glued to my phone rather than my 3DS in public, if only just.
Even more to the point, as the technology becomes more and more impressive, the possibility of actual, meaty gaming experience coming to mobile becomes more and more likely every day. Not only have we already gotten a bevy of good ports – I recently finished Final Fantasy 6, which is great (questionable artistic decisions aside) and started on Final Fantasy 9 (if you’d have told me five years ago that I’d be playing a PSX game on my phone I’d have had a conniption), and I’ve been interspersing sittings of This War of Mine in between babysitting my time- (and wallet-) killing apps – but getting truly, mobile-exclusive game experiences is not, in my opinion, that far off.
And once we cross that threshold, I think we’ll truly see what mobile gaming is capable of…and I think we’ll find that it is mobile gaming, not motion controls or virtual reality or the next iteration of the X-Box/Playstation/Wii, that is the “future” of gaming.
Don’t worry, that cringe running up and down your spine at the speed of blech is perfectly natural, but bear with me.
The fact that I was able to make that joke and 99% of you understood my intention (even if you didn’t think it was funny…that, also, is perfectly natural) is the first, and one of the biggest, hurdles that mobile gaming is going to have to overcome if it expects to even have a future, let alone a respectful one. For every Sword and Sworcery, The Room, Fallout Shelter, and Knights of Pen and Paper, we have a seemingly endless slurry of cheaply-made cash-in games with shady or even downright unethical business practices meant to trick you or your children into spending (or accidentally spending) thousands of dollars for literally no gain – an endless stream of “addictive” and “time-wasting” drivel for which “time-wasting” and “addictive” are the best (and most frequently-used) compliments anyone can come up with. Seriously, check out the Google Play Store reviews for the best-rated games. Addictive is almost always the number one highlight, followed closely by time-killer or some variation thereof.
Even some of the more-respectable gaming experiences on mobile, games like Clash of Clans and the afore-mentioned Fallout Shelter, are oft-maligned for demanding too much of your money, and those are hardly the worst of the lot. I have sunk more money than I care to admit into Avengers Academy, Kingdom Hearts Unchained x, and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, far more than I would spend on a mainstream, triple A title, and for a far less-meaty gaming experience. The fact that the term “whale” – a term used by the game industry muckety-mucks to describe someone, generally their target audience, willing to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their games – even exists is evidence of a massive problem of philosophy in the field of mobile game development. It is something that the industry is going to have to get past if they ever hope to make the medium something substantial and meaningful, and if we are to ever afford mobile games any modicum of respect.
The other rather substantial problem mobile gaming faces is one of identity. Almost every game I’ve mentioned thus far has been ported to other platforms – PC mostly – and many more of the most significant gaming experiences to be found on the platform – your Final Fantasies and Baldurs Gates and the like – started off elsewhere, which substantially diminishes their use in any argument for mobile gaming as the “future of gaming.” In fact, I’d argue that we’ve seen incredibly few games that are truly “mobile-only” experiences. You could argue that this is a problem with all gaming platforms, that there’s really few, if any, gaming experiences that can be experienced on one platform but not another, but the truth of the matter is that the mobile platform is one of the few currently available that is capable of delivering that truly exclusive experience. In fact, we’ve already seen it in AR gaming like Ingress, Run! Zombies! and, yes, Pokemon GO!
This is really at the heart of the whole thing and why I think mobile gaming is the “future” of gaming. I don’t mean that in the future we’ll only be playing games on our phone. Good God, for all my pushing of the platform that’s a world even I wouldn’t want to live in. Can you imagine the eye-strain? What I mean is that the mobile platform is going to be the first platform, perhaps since the inception of gaming, that has a way to play games that literally cannot be played on any other platform. Even some of the less-substantial games I mentioned before – games like Clash of Clans, Avengers Academy, Tiny Tower and the like – benefit so much from the accessibility that mobile gaming provides that I don’t think you could ever experience them properly on any platform other than a phone or tablet. Perhaps a portable console like the 3DS or Vita could emulate the experience, but even the act of having to flick the device open and power it up would kill the sort of frequent and unobtrusive attentiveness that these games rely on to succeed.
You can argue that these games – both AR games and so-called “idle” games – are insubstantial and easily dismissed as such, but I’d counter by saying we have yet to truly see what these types of games are capable of. Between the prevailing mentality that mobile gaming is a haven for either unethical cash-grabs or lazy and shallow not-games (and the industry’s lack of willingness to turn this popular opinion around) and the fact that the technology, while growing stronger every year, lags intensely behind other modern gaming platforms, I think it’s safe to say no one’s truly tried to see how mobile can be used as anything other than an easy money delivery service.
There is no reason AR games and idle games can’t give us something substantial, something big. Pokémon GO!, for all of its failings (and there are quite a few), shows remarkable promise as an actual game after the sort of experiment that Ingress presented. Yes, I realize many people “play” Ingress, but its value as a game, rather than simply a “go here and push a button” simulator, is questionable. Pokémon GO! provides more game content than its somewhat venerable big brother, and Niantic promises more and more will be added. Whether we will ever see that before the game utterly tanks, which seems to be the direction that it’s going, is up for debate but does not remove its value as an illustrative example of what the platform can deliver.
But even ignoring the game’s current state, and even beyond the promises Niantic has given us, imagine what Pokémon GO! could be. Imagine a game with over 700 (likely well over 800 come this autumn with the launch of Pokémon Sun and Moon) pokémon to find; a game where you can see someone down the street hunting for pokémon and challenge them to a friendly battle; a game where you can travel the world to compete in tournaments and have a different game experience everywhere you go; a game with events that challenge you to go to certain landmarks and find legendary pokémon or stop Team Rocket schemes. Imagine what the game could be.
Now imagine a Digimon game in the same vein with a companion Digivice app in which you train your monster and hunt invading digimon to fight them back into the digital world. Imagine a Dungeons and Dragons game in which you create a character and chase griffons and dragons around your hometown and rescue princesses (or princes!) from goblins that have fortified themselves at local landmarks – all the while gaining experience for distance traveled as well as objectives completed. Imagine a war game in which you form a temporary and uneasy alliance with your nextdoor neighbor and train troops before marching with them downtown to take the gas station from rival armies.
If technology has taught us anything, it’s that if you can imagine it, you can do it. You just have to find out how.
The truth is, virtual reality – which is the recent development that most pundits laud as the “future” of gaming despite its own egregious flaws – can only really change how we perceive games. It’s not an insubstantial technological leap, just like every console generation brings with it new graphical technologies and, with them, shiny new mud-splatter physics, but it doesn’t fundamentally change how we experience gaming or, at its most extreme, how gaming changes how we experience the world around us. Mobile games like Pokémon GO!, Ingress, Run! Zombies! and their ilk, while perhaps stumbling at times, truly show us gaming experiences that can be experienced nowhere but on mobile devices, a sort of gaming that is not possible without a device that is so integrated with the world around us that is uses the world itself as a platform for its experience.
I know it may seem like I’m still riding a high of Pokémon GO! hype in this piece, and maybe I am (it took me so long to regurgitate this opinion that I don’t know if Pokemon GO! has a lot of hype at the moment though, between all of Nintendo/Niantic’s missteps and the simple course of time), but I think the game’s success, despite its (many) failings, shows that the world is ready to see what mobile gaming can really do.
But in order to see that, the medium is going to need some pretty significant champions…and I don’t think Nintendo is that champion. Because Nintendo is a business – a business whose sole aim is to make money. What mobile gaming needs is visionaries who are willing to take a risk on the medium, someone who is willing to break through the perceived stench of money-grubbing, cash-in bullshit that hangs over over the mobile market like a pall. And don’t get me wrong, this is going to take a lot of work. There are few legitimate efforts to make the mobile medium into something respectable in a way that couldn’t be done elsewhere. Sure we have games like the Final Fantasy series and This War of Mine that have received ports onto mobile platforms, and even games that seem to have been designed from the ground up with mobile in mind like Sword and Sworcery. But none of these games tap the medium, challenge it, in a way that truly shows what it, and only it, can do. I think augmented reality is the first real step towards this mobile gaming renaissance, but we’re going to need more developers willing to take this plunge, willing to show what mobile games can do besides just hook whales and cheat unsuspecting parents out of thousands of dollars. Mobile gaming needs its Notch, its Jonathan Blow, its Phil Fish, people who believe in the medium as something worth believing in, and who are willing to take chances with it.
We need someone to take mobile gaming seriously so that we, as gamers, can see what it’s really and fully capable of and I think that then, and only then, will we see the “future of gaming” that everyone has so readily, hastily, and preemptively assigned to virtual reality. Until that happens, we’re going to continue to see this promising medium continue to be squandered, its good name slandered by those who see it only as a cheap cash-in.（source：gamasutra）