Next-Gen Console in Your Smartphone Chat App

Are chat apps what's next in the gaming world?
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Casual games like Pac-man, Tetris, Solitaire, and most recently games like Farmville and Farm Town have captivated the masses since the beginning. Although some of these games are better than others, they all have something in common; these games are popular because of their one or two button gameplay.

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This translates to an onslaught of games that have been popping up due to their ease of development. In the case of chat apps like Kik, Snapchat, and MSN Messenger this is good news.  They could easily develop a game for chatters to play with their friends as they are chatting, but I don’t think it will be a hit. Here’s why:

1. I’ve never used a chat app while playing a game; this isn’t due to the fact that I couldn’t, but rather because I didn’t want to play games while I was chatting. If I go through the trouble to download an app specifically for chatting then I want the app for chatting.

2. There are plenty of games already out there that allow for players to play back-and-forth with a friend. Popular games that come to mind are Draw Something and Words with Friends.

3. When I want to play a game on my cell phone, which is the only place most of these apps can be downloaded, I’m usually not somewhere where I want to wait for a response from one of my friends. If I’m wasting time in class—don’t judge me—I want to be able to kill time efficiently.

4. Many of the chat apps don’t have efficient enough design for allowing you to chat and play games with multiple people. If you have a convo going on with, say 6 people, how are you going to keep up the conversation and play all 6 games? I’m a pretty good multi-tasker but I don’t think I could keep up with 12 things on an app, on my phone, that I’m playing in class most of the time.  Having to switch back-and-forth from 12 different chat boxes doesn’t seem like fun.

I think handheld games and mobile games still have room to improve and are going to drive the future for a lot of casual games, but there most certainly is not an app for that.  

The future of gaming is near, Do you think that is in the form of chat apps? Comment below on whether or not chat apps are the wave of the future!

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Miranda Kirk
Former member and Senior Intern of the JTP program, woo!