I have never cared much for mobile gaming platforms. Or mobile anything, for that matter. I come from a time when moving around meant being separated from information technology. And I guess I’m comfortable with that feeling now. Perhaps I even cherish being disconnected.
As a designer for interactive media, I was also never attracted to mobile devices. Mostly because of their small screens. One of the most important things about interactive experiences for me is immersion, immersion in a virtual world. And, partly because of their size, computer monitors and televisions screens seem to dissolve when I’m playing a game. They become invisible frames of the windows through which I experience virtual worlds.
But small devices are always there. You’re holding them in your hands, you constantly feel their material, their weight, and worst of all, you have to focus your vision to a very small physical area, the area of the small screen. As a result, I think, the best experiences I’ve had on my iPod Touch have been simple puzzle games, games that don’t necessarily look like representations of something large but that “fit” in the small format. Oddly, this seems to apply to both size and content. Superficial and abstract games thrive on small devices.
But that doesn’t stop me from wanting more.
Now that we’re trying to make a game for the iPhone ourselves, I’m trying to play the ones that are out there. I’m naturally inclined to look for things that have a bit of “meat around their bones”, experiences that can draw me in, make me believe in their fiction, make me want to spend time in their worlds.
But I haven’t found a lot that even comes close to this on the App Store.
Maybe the device is just not suitable for this kind of thing. Or maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. So this is a call for tips: can anyone recommend any immersive experiences on the iPhone? They don’t need to be games, they don’t need to be big. Just something that makes me feel something. That I can step into.