179: Go Out and Play

Go Out and Play

According to the NPD Group, 79 percent of portable gamers use their devices at home more than any other location. Why the reluctance to go out and play? Nova Barlow examines what's keeping portable gaming behind closed doors.

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Do simple manners enter into it as well? Maybe it paints me as old, but if I go to, say, a restaurant and I see some kid playing his DS at the table while his sister is texting God knows who while their parents just eat in silence, it annoys me to no end. It just seems rude.

I think it's more of a social thing. I once read an article on the social side of gaming where loads of people started to play Monster Hunter together in Japan.

This is what portable gaming needs more of, people need to get together to game more and get out their handheld consoles or get out to their local arcades.

A few friends and I used to get together and play on our DS's but our little gatherings soon faded away as results from races and battles were pretty repetetive.

More events need to be held to bring gamers out and discover a world of gaming which is often neglected, even the DS Wifi seems to be empty most of the time.

I'll tell you why I don't play my DS in public very often. For one thing, the device is not designed for portability. When I put it in my pocket, it gets "stuff" inside the casing that jams the shoulder buttons, my L button is more or less useless.

On top of that, when I do take my DS out with me, I usually regret it because it's something else for me to keep track of, and I end up not playing it, because I'm too busy doing other stuff, and if I have literally 5 minutes or less, I don't want to get involved in a whole game. You're supposed to be able to close the lid to suspend play, but the only times I've tried that, I ended up with a dead battery, some of my save progress lost, and Mr. Resetti reprimanding me as if I did it on purpose.

It just seems rude and wierd to play games infront of others. It's like talking on your cellphone while your being waited on- very demeaning.

We need "Portable Arcades", like net cafe's but for portable gaming. It would also improve games that have wi-fi options, as you'd have a place to go to look for partners. Parks are also good.

I agree with many of the "manners" sentiments. As much as I am a gamer, there is a time and place for everything.

Engrossing yourself in something, whether it's putting headphones on, talking on a phone, or playing a video game, is a detachment from social interaction with those in your vicinty. This is fine in situations where you aren't expecting or desiring social interaction (sitting alone in a library, riding on the bus), but in many social situations it's unexpected and rude. Sitting at the table is a great example, as is waiting to be served. Having worked in fast food, there's nothing more frustrating than trying to serve somebody who won't hang up their phone -- you can't have two conversations at once, so by continuing to pay attention to the phone, you are implying that the phone is more important, and that's the very definition of rude.

On the other hand, much of what we consider "rude" is due to traditional social norms and these are very fluid things. At one time, public cell phone usage was a disconcerting thing; nowadays it's commonplace for somebody to answer their cell phone without going to find privacy. Even the limits of what is acceptable in this situation are continually changing. As with all technology, our ability to adjust our behaviours and expectations is quickly outpaced by new innovations. It will take us time to adjust. In the mean time, we should be aware and sensitive to the expectations of others around us.

Whenever I get my DS out to play while I'm with my family, they tell me to put it away. I also notice I don't pay much attention to them. There's a big difference in playing your DS and hanging out with someone and playing your DS with someone else doing the same thing. My canadian friend and his friends meet over lunch to play Mario Kart DS endlessly, but no one does that here. I really do agree with ReverseEngineered, it will eventually change. I also think just starting up some little club would work, but that would be awkward if there were only strangers.

A recent study found that people with hand-held devices are losing sleep due to the ease with which they may be used in bed. Perhaps that would account for a bump in the amount of time such gamers play at home. I use my PSP during classes as much as possible, but if the increasingly rare event transpires where the game I purchased for it is actually good, then I play it more at home where it can be fully enjoyed.

Another thought is something that used to plague me in my Gameboy and Gamegear days, the fact that batteries cost money and plugging the system into the wall is next to free. Also, parents are still buying Gameboys and whatnot for their children who are likely not allowed to play anywhere else.

There seems to be a multitude of reasons why systems would be played more in home. The system is great on planes and when I'm bored, but I'm generally not flying or bored amongst my friends.

This article has inspired me to wear my All Your Base Are Belong To Us t-shirt again.

Very good artical, but I would like to give another reason why protable games are usally played at home, since protable consols have games that unportable consols have, most of the time they are bought for the games, not for the portability.

i agree and disagree with the manners and the socal weirdness of useing your DS out and about

i use my DS when ever i get board wether its at home,collage or on the bus just anytime i have it on me and i dont get right many weird looks from people, some come and ask about it.

and i do use it at home mostly but thats only because ive got no good games for anything else in my house plus my sister is always up for a multiplayer on any game. but i sit in the corridoors of collage playing my DS till my next class starts. but as far as manners go my sister normaly has the DS out before me and since shes 7 she gets away with it, i use this as excuse to join her on a game of mario or something.

I only play on it at home. Usually there are less distractions at home and i can enjoy it more fully. Also, if i'm going out i'd rather pay attention to my surroundings and who i'm with.

I don't know if this effects anyone, but i feel like i can't take it with me in case it gets lost or stolen. Also i live in a pretty traditional/closed community;seeing people playing games at all, even in game shops is rare. I get enough weird looks when i go into game shops since i'm a girl, gaming in public just isn't done here.

Lightknight:
A recent study found that people with hand-held devices are losing sleep due to the ease with which they may be used in bed. Perhaps that would account for a bump in the amount of time such gamers play at home. I use my PSP during classes as much as possible, but if the increasingly rare event transpires where the game I purchased for it is actually good, then I play it more at home where it can be fully enjoyed.

Another thought is something that used to plague me in my Gameboy and Gamegear days, the fact that batteries cost money and plugging the system into the wall is next to free. Also, parents are still buying Gameboys and whatnot for their children who are likely not allowed to play anywhere else.

There seems to be a multitude of reasons why systems would be played more in home. The system is great on planes and when I'm bored, but I'm generally not flying or bored amongst my friends.

Sorry for the necro... but I must say that going to sleep at 7am due to Pokemon Pearl is quite a horrible experience...

 

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