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mobile games on my tv? why?

an ouya console and controller. it runs shitty little  phone games, but in surround sound on your giant tv.
an ouya console and controller. it runs shitty little phone games, but in surround sound on your giant tv.

we have gaming for pc on windows, which is by far the best experience. gaming for mac and linux is on the rise and getting better all the time. there are more consoles available than most people are even aware of, each with their own ecosystem and marketing niche. we have handheld systems and games on our phones. we even have people hacking networked lighting systems so they can play games on the sides of buildings.

computer gaming tends to cater to enthusiasts and hardware junkies like myself. we like specs and performance and we want to see games running at their absolute best. people who typically buy consoles and aren’t just doing it because of exclusive titles usually want to go that route because in many ways its far more convenient. handheld systems from the game boy to the vita have provided hours of fun no matter where you are. this brings us to phones.

gaming on your phone has typically been the domain of people who need to waste a few minutes while they’re in line for something. the majority of phones now are touch devices, and the games that run on them are designed for fingers, because who the fuck is going to carry a controller around in their pocket connected to their phone. these games are time wasters and simple to play. they’re usually lacking in any real depth or story or even high quality graphics because they were designed for small devices with very limited resources available and generally have to cater to the fact that they are on your phone.

tablets have followed a similar path. the typical tablet isn’t much more powerful than a smartphone and most are also designed for fingers. this has led to basically the same games being on both the phone and the tablet. the same time waster, got five minutes for a game while i’m waiting for this thing to happen type games. fun, light, social, and not very immersive.

so when i heard about this new rash of android boxes (ouya, gamepop) designed to run these goofy little things on your big living room screen, i almost spewed my soda all over my keyboard. why the hell would anyone want to do that? is there even a market for this? the whole debacle strikes me as a solution in search of an apocalypse.

my living room, like a lot of living rooms, has a large-ish hi-def flat screen tv and a surround sound receiver.  this very common setup is designed to immerse you in the experience of movies, shows, and video games. when you park your ass on the couch, you aren’t in “hang on a sec i need to waste 5 minutes” mode. you’re there for a couple of hours. there isn’t a game on a phone or tablet that could keep my attention for anywhere near that long.

but there are even bigger questions. why for the love of bacon would i want to scale a crappy little finger tapper all the way up to 46 inches and blast those highly compressed mediocre sound bytes through my high output, high definition sound system? why would anyone want to do that to themselves? and how awkwardly are these tap tap treasures of time wasting going to adapt to the use of a controller? and what about the idea of controlling it with my phone, but seeing it on the tv?

not even dante has a hell suitable for this idea. if you told me that these little android boxes would bring forth a new era of retro gaming or possibly emulation of older consoles, hell yes. but shit you find in the google play store? am i seriously going to spend hours on end in jetpack joyride? peggle on my tv? for fuck’s sake, what is wrong with these people?

thank god this is just a fad and will die accordingly.


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