Every now and again we like to pick a topic that can whip up a debate and get the juices flowing. All in the name of fun and interactivity, of course.
Here, two of our writers trade blows on the issue of video games. First up, Adam thinks that console gaming is superior and then Boc argues in favour of mobile gaming.
After you’ve read their thoughts, you can take part in our informal poll and leave your comments.
Adam Fraser – Consoles
I wouldn’t call myself a huge-gamer, because I just don’t find the time, but I do like to game. Starting from the early days of the Sega Mega Drive, the original Xbox, and now my much-loved Xbox 360 that takes prime place underneath the TV in my living room. I get a real satisfaction in grabbing a controller and hammering those buttons – I’m not necessarily any good, but I hammer nonetheless.
While I’m (virtually) shooting those adolescent experts called ‘N1nja boi’ or ‘$il3nt Kill£R’, I’m doing it from the comfort of my couch. My feet are up, the controller is in hand and I’m staring, wide-eyed at the large TV that sits in my room. Admittedly, I usually lose the online battles, but I’m enjoying it.
The games designed for use on consoles are designed to be enjoyed on a big scale. They’re perfect on the TV. All the detail comes to life, I can see a characters eyes look from left to right. Plus, some games are specifically designed to creep you out and put the fear into you as you play.
With curtains drawn, lights turned off and the sound cranked up, something will undoubtedly jump out and give me a fright. Again, I enjoy that.
You just don’t get that same experience from mobile gaming. I’ve never seen a man’s skin twitch, or experienced the same adrenaline rush you get when playing a creepy game. That just can’t be replicated on a small handheld object.
Obviously, I hope that can happen as I do most of my gaming on a mobile phone these days. But I enjoy it more when I’ve set aside some time, turned off my phone and focus on the console for the evening – it feels more special.
Boc Ly – Mobile games
Playing games on a console feels like a throwback to a different time, before we saw the potential of the smartphone to change our lives.
The games console is reliant on other things to actually work. It needs to be hooked up to an external power supply, the Internet, cables to connect it to the TV and not forgetting the games controllers themselves.
With mobile gaming, the phone is all you need. It is so much simpler, more elegant and, not forgetting the real ace up its sleeve, you really can do it wherever you go. An obvious point but it’s something we all take for granted.
In a shared house, playing on a traditional games console means you are taking over the whole room. What if someone else wants to watch TV, or they insist that you play with the sound down?
Of course, on a mobile, no one can tell you where and when you can play. Again, it reinforces the point that on a mobile you are not beholden to anything or anyone else.
Just a few short years ago it would have been much more difficult to make the case for mobile gaming. However, the increased processing power, the better graphics and the availability of top games has tilted the argument decisively in its favour.
Another important factor is that mobile gaming is much more democractic than console gaming. This is important. Not everyone can afford to buy an expensive games console and then play it on a huge HDTV.
On the other hand, even the most basic mobile phones are capable of playing addictive and extremely involving games. In this connected age, most people want social experiences with their games, above and beyond just good graphics and lots of action. Witness the success of titles such as Draw Something and Words with Friends.
The trend is that more and more people are using the Internet and social networks on their mobile devices than on desktop computers. The future is mobile and games is a part of that.
Who do you agree with? Do you prefer playing games on your mobile phone or on a console?
We’ve set up this fun and informal poll so that you can let us know which side of the debate you’re on. You can also leave your comments below.