A couple of weeks ago dear playmates, I entered the 21st, no actually, the 20th century. And how did I make this brave leap I hear you ask? Well it took a steely nerve and a cast iron determination, but one Saturday afternoon I drove into town, walked right up to a sales assistant and demanded to be sold a mobile phone. Yes, that's right I now own a mobile phone, or alternatively"yes that's right I've never owned a mobile phone before!
Needless to say friends and relatives were agog and aghast. Some were even slightly disappointed. People's mothers and grandmothers had mobile phones before I entered the murky waters and friends were always a little reassured that at least one person hadn't succumbed to this near-necessary evil of the modern world. Of course they shouldn't be too disconcerted, I hardly ever use it, well only to text KB when he's out of the office and listen to the radio at work. Phone people? Of course I don't use it to phone people, don't be so ridiculous.
There is, you may have noticed, a slight paradox present here. Here is a person who is willing to pre-order a machine months in advance of its release, spending over Â£300 on it, knowing full well that in six months time it will be available for a fraction of the price. The machine serves no practical purpose, it plays games, it's a luxury item, an investment in leisure, nothing more. Nevertheless, I found it necessary to purchase said item as soon as was humanly possible. It wasn't a marvel of technological miniaturisation (far from it) and it didn't allow me to call a friend and warn them that I'd be late because the trains were screwed; it just took up lots of room and played games.
See, I can't explain my reluctance to get a phone. It wasn't peer pressure, techno phobia or even some Michael Moore inspired moral standpoint about phone masts and cancer, or Nokia's sweatshops in Southeast Asia. Thankfully I haven't fallen off any moral high ground.
However, having given the issue some careful thought, I've come to the conclusion that it could be down to games, plus the fact that I thought I didn't need one.
How long have we been told that mobiles are the future of gaming? And do we believe them – what do they think we're stupid or something?
Come back with me several months"
So anyway, there I was with my SP, happily playing on the bus and there were a gazillion fellow passengers shouting into their phones about how they were on the bus and that they'd be there in about two minutes, so see them in minute. Did I feel the need to divulge the mundane nuances of my life really loudly on the bus? Not really. And did I think, pah SP, think I'll leave that at home today and get a phone, then I can play games and get interrupted by a phone call at the same time? Er"no.
Skip forward to present day, if you will.
I now have a phone and have played games on it purely to give myself the opportunity to see the light and think, my god, it really is the future! Instead I was greeted with one mildly distracting puzzle game, which just wasn't as good as Tetris, but could idle away a few minutes in a pub if you'd forgotten to bring your book or your SP. Then I tried another puzzle game which just gave me a cramp and irritated me.
I went further with my research and tried to download a game. I say tried because I got as far as viewing an image and thought, right I know it's a volleyball game, but where's the ball and what's that bit there? See my phone fits in my pocket and also in those special pockets they make especially for mobiles. This makes it highly mobile and a kinda take anywhere convenience, which is good. But being pocket-sized my phone doesn't accommodate a large screen, rendering it pretty useless for gaming.
This is when I come to my point"heh, hem! I really, really don't see the point of phones that play games. I want a phone that's relatively small, fits in my pocket, bag or those special mobile pockets, which are kinda groovy. Up until now phones have been getting smaller, and then somebody decided they needed to be able to play games and now they're going back to house brick size so that we can see the frickin' things.
I played games on my phone for approximately 10 minutes. It was difficult because the buttons were too close together and had the sensitivity of an elephant's rear end. Fortunately these games were pretty simple, but how on earth are you supposed to play Tomb Raider on a phone is anyone's guess.
Okay, so phones are too small. Well we'll make them bigger so you can play on them, cheer the mobile phone companies with a slack-jawed grin. But I don't want a big phone, because then it kind of defeats the purpose of being mobile and just becomes HEAVY!
I must admit, I do see people playing games on their phones, but more often than not it's Snake. These are the same people who play Solitaire and Minesweeper on their PC's. They are NOT, I repeat, not going to pay for a game. It ain't never going to happen, so let's just stop this N Gage nonsense before it goes too far – or maybe consumers will do that for us by keeping their wallets firmly shut.