I'll be honest - I play barely any mobile games. I have not played a single level of Candy Crush, or any of its variants - I have never even downloaded it. The last game I played on my phone was Flappy Bird, and before that... I can't even remember. That doesn't mean I don't like mobile gaming. The fact is, I love it.
While it's quite obvious that I am all about traditional gaming - I own an embarrassing amount of consoles, I play on several different dedicated handhelds, I built my own PC specifically to game on - mobile gaming plays an interesting role in my life.
I was part of an interesting discussion yesterday, among some workmates:
Friend 1, who "plays games": "What did you play last night Chris?"
Me: "I started playing Virtues Last Reward on Vita. You?"
Friend 1: "Starting to get into Borderlands! It's pretty good."
Friend 2, not a "gamer": "I played Candy Crush! I'm up to level 604!"
What traditionally would have been a discussion between two people who play games, turned to a discussion including someone who may not have any inclination about console gaming - but was able to contribute and, importantly, to understand us.
Mobile gaming is not like traditional console/PC/handheld gaming. And that is a great thing.
These new experiences, new types of games, new ways to play - they bring people in to a world that they previously knew very little to nothing of - and providing them with a fun and satisfying experience in the process. They couldn't care less about the latest Call of Duty, but they will whoop your ass in Clash of Clans.
My girlfriend Loren, who has never thought of gaming as a pastime she would enjoy, has smashed out every level in Peggle. She can name every character and what they do in Plants Vs. Zombies. She will have a few goes of Candy Crush every now and then. Because of her exposure to these experiences, my girlfriend has been able to join me in racing around the wonderful tracks of Mario Kart 8 and has even beaten me at getting high scores on levels of Super Mario 3D World. It is doubtful that these experiences we have shared would even exist if it weren't for Lorens time with mobile games; and they are some of my most cherished gaming memories.
This connection to gaming, no matter how varied, brings us all together in a way that other mediums often fail to do.
Next time, before you knock on Candy Crush Pet Rescue Saga or Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, take a second to think about how the people around you are now interacting with video games. People who you never thought would play a game in their life; and now have 3,494,220,000 coins in Slotmania on their phone. Be grateful that the evolution of gaming means the medium is continuing to reach more of the world, adding a little bit of fun to everyones daily routine.
The truth of it all is: Gaming is for everyone.
That makes me smile.