Why does everyone hate mobile games?

Posted by Harry Slater on November 7th, 2018

It's a really interesting question, and one that as players of mobile games, we need to ask ourselves from time to time - why does everyone hate us? It's something we've seen more of in recent years as traditionally AAA developers and publishers have started to realise that mobile gaming is actually a goldmine. The most recent, and one of the most vehement, backlashes has been against Blizzard after it announced Diablo Immortal.

But why does this keep happening? What is it about a game making the leap from PC and console to mobile that makes so many people feel the need to rage into the abyss of the internet? Is it a reflection of something underlying so-called gaming culture, or a problem that's inherent in every walk of life?

These are the questions that we're going to try and answer in this article. If you've got your own theories as to why this keeps happening, then do please let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article. Before that though, let's get our grey matter working.

Why mobile?

For years now, mobile gaming has been the whipping boy of the gaming world. Real, true, proper hardcore gamers look down on mobile for a number of reasons. But the main one that seems to be the cause of all the current rage is that mobile dumbs games down. Really though, that's based on a fallacy.

When the first FPS games came out for consoles, they were mocked by the elite PC gamers for not having mouse and keyboard control. Now we move on twenty or so years and mobile games, which have even fewer buttons at their disposal than console controllers, are getting a lot of the same stick.

Let's do the math for that. You've played a game on the platform you own, you form your opinions of that game based on that platform, therefore if that game moves to another platform you're always going to have a bias in your mind to what you see as the original. We're all stood in the world, with a history behind us, and it's that history that makes us see the world in the way we do. Bias isn't an inherently bad thing, it's how we are able to comprehend the world around us.

Why has it got worse?

The world around us is a lot more connected than it ever has been. Those connections aren't evenly weighted though - to all intents and purposes the way the internet has been monetized is designed to narrow the field of view that a web user has. Algorithms have turned what should have been the levelest playing field into an echo chamber of nightmarish proportions.

That means that when people cry out about something, they're unlikely to ever really see the opposite side of the argument. Instead opinions are constantly reinforced, with the weight of evidence replaced by the weight of agreement. If enough of the people you can hear are saying the same thing, then there's a very good chance you're going to agree with them.

In turn, this has seen an end to reasonable debate. By the time the two sides of an argument come face to face, they're already both intractable. Any conversation is already primed and ready to be an slanging match before it's started - the internet allows us to ignore shades of grey and instead sink into the black and white that predetermined sides always lead to.

What can we do?

Here's the thing, it's more about what we don't do. We need to be able to extract ourselves from the pigeonholes we've been put into by what's essentially a series of numbers created to classify us. We don't need to shout the loudest, we need to listen the most carefully, understand the frustrations of the other side, and try to suggest alternatives.

When an argument is already polarizing before it's even started, then the end result is only ever two separate sides deciding that they claimed the higher ground. That doesn't help anyone - there's no resolution to a conflict where no one's willing to change their mind.

Mobile gaming is great, and we all know that. So let's try and make sure that's what we're sending out to the world - the water's great, come and join us. It's not the sort of thing that happens overnight, and it's not the sort of thing that's going to change the minds of those people who are already too far gone, but it's up to us to make mobile gaming a space for everyone - not by screaming and shouting, but by convincing people their argument is pointless.

You don't like playing games on your mobile? Fair enough, don't do it then. But don't act like the millions and millions of people who do are some sort of enemy force. Gamer is just a word, it's not a race or a belief system - it's a shorthand. We're all human beings first, the rest comes after, and you need to realise that nebulous, homogenising terms like gamer need to be consigned to the past.

Posted in: News, Upcoming, Opinion
Tagged With: Hate, Diablo Immortal, gamers
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