Are Mobile Games Less Artistically Valid?
While gaming as a whole is something that has been taken to a variety of different consoles – including the smartphone – it isn’t something that is necessarily wholly consistent across these platforms. Of the primary three consoles, PlayStation and Xbox are mostly similar, with the Nintendo line of consoles, from the Nintendo Wii forward to the Switch, tending to do their own thing and corner their market. PC gaming is arguably more similar to the initial two, but with greater varieties in customisation and games played, but the mobile platform might be most different of all.
Associated with microtransactions and gimmicks, it’s worth asking if the question of video games as an art form stops when it comes to mobile gaming.
The Money Makers
The big hurdle that mobile games might have to face before they can be considered art for a lot of people is one that’s already been mentioned – the fact that they are often primarily designed by developers as a way of making money. This is true of all games, of course, as they are products that need to sell well to succeed, but this idea of monetisation is something that’s baked into the design of a lot of mobile games.
While you also have experiences like games available at a real money casino USA, those are potentially different in those digitisations of a monetary activity – like gambling – could be seen as more understandable than the idea of interrupting the flow of a game for the sake of implementing quick ways to get more money.
Extensions of the Medium
It might not then be the exclusive mobile games that often get considered for this title, then, as the mobile market is one where microtransactions and free-to-play models tend to succeed above all else. However, that doesn’t mean that artistic games are barred from mobile platforms, with games like Kentucky Route Zero finding their way onto the handheld system, which is often a candidate that comes up in discussion.
It might all depend on what makes a game art for you, though. Is it about the way it conveys and discusses its themes in tandem with its gameplay, or the fact that it does something innovative and bold? Because if it extends as far as the impressive art style or visual fidelity of a game, the question might be much easier to answer.
Will this always be the case, though? Mobile gaming is popular enough that it doesn’t need the presence of thought-provoking titles to take it higher, but for people who look for that kind of thing in a game, it might remain a platform of less interest until the current model shows signs of slowing down. However, this might not be likely to happen anytime soon with the amount of money behind it, and the people who play mobile games are people who tend to enjoy the rhythms and loops that it has to offer in the first place, meaning that the current mobile audience might not be looking for anything different on the whole.