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iOS Games : Embracing the Ephemeral

10-14-2015, 08:03 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 348
iOS Games : Embracing the Ephemeral

Videogames, like a lot of digital media, are not permanent. I guess this has always been the case - the games I remember playing as a teenager with misty-eyed recollection are now only playable if you still have the original hardware or can find a similar emulator. I've still got the cassette tapes that I played on my Dragon 32 PC in the 1980's, but without the hardware they're just objects gathering dust. My extensive Xbox 360 game collection only has worth as long as I have an Xbox 360 to play them on. When the day comes that that's not possible, they just become so many useless disks. Unlike other media, such as books or visual art, videogames are impermanent, and the thousands of games that we play that bring so much to our lives are, in essence, doomed to be lost. To paraphrase Bladerunner if I may, 'all those games will be lost in time...like tears in the rain'.

Whilst this has always been the case, the recent disappearance of games from the AppStore has brought the ephemeral quality of games into sharp focus for me. That's not to say that empheral = worthless, but the AppStore's seeming impermanence and shifting quality is more than a little unsettling. Other people's decisions to remove games that I've purchased on iOS makes me realise that perhaps we never truly 'own' digital content. And if that is the case, and we are in effect only renting the right to play a game for an undesignated period of time, the perhaps the payment / acquisition model for iOS and all digital game providers needs to change.

I've found that I've been re-evaluating my iOS games library recently, as well as the way I approach iOS games. I'm not prepared to pour more and more money into what is already an extensive collection of iOS games anymore. Instead, I'm going back over my favourite games and replaying them, in lots of cases actually finishing them - and finding I'm actually enjoying them more.

Perhaps we just need to accept that the iOS games we are playing are transient, ephemeral things, and taking that into consideration, to enjoy and appreciate them for the moment and not to always be looking forwards to satisfying our next 'instabuy fix'. All I know is that the recent disappearances from the AppStore has made me appreciate more the games I have got, and perhaps that's no bad thing
10-14-2015, 12:39 PM
#2
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: Brazil
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prhaber View Post
Videogames, like a lot of digital media, are not permanent. I guess this has always been the case - the games I remember playing as a teenager with misty-eyed recollection are now only playable if you still have the original hardware or can find a similar emulator. I've still got the cassette tapes that I played on my Dragon 32 PC in the 1980's, but without the hardware they're just objects gathering dust. My extensive Xbox 360 game collection only has worth as long as I have an Xbox 360 to play them on. When the day comes that that's not possible, they just become so many useless disks. Unlike other media, such as books or visual art, videogames are impermanent, and the thousands of games that we play that bring so much to our lives are, in essence, doomed to be lost. To paraphrase Bladerunner if I may, 'all those games will be lost in time...like tears in the rain'.

Whilst this has always been the case, the recent disappearance of games from the AppStore has brought the ephemeral quality of games into sharp focus for me. That's not to say that empheral = worthless, but the AppStore's seeming impermanence and shifting quality is more than a little unsettling. Other people's decisions to remove games that I've purchased on iOS makes me realise that perhaps we never truly 'own' digital content. And if that is the case, and we are in effect only renting the right to play a game for an undesignated period of time, the perhaps the payment / acquisition model for iOS and all digital game providers needs to change.

I've found that I've been re-evaluating my iOS games library recently, as well as the way I approach iOS games. I'm not prepared to pour more and more money into what is already an extensive collection of iOS games anymore. Instead, I'm going back over my favourite games and replaying them, in lots of cases actually finishing them - and finding I'm actually enjoying them more.

Perhaps we just need to accept that the iOS games we are playing are transient, ephemeral things, and taking that into consideration, to enjoy and appreciate them for the moment and not to always be looking forwards to satisfying our next 'instabuy fix'. All I know is that the recent disappearances from the AppStore has made me appreciate more the games I have got, and perhaps that's no bad thing
I agree with you. Even it is a bad thing we can have something good for it.

My approach is similar yours now. No instabuy anymore and I am enjoying my vast backlog, which might take years to finish.
10-14-2015, 12:55 PM
#3
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: uk
Posts: 3,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prhaber View Post
My extensive Xbox 360 game collection only has worth as long as I have an Xbox 360 to play them on.
You can play 360 games on Xbox now can't you? I'm sure I read that somewhere.

I'm probably in the minority but I haven't really changed my AppStore spending because of the recent hooha. One of the great things about ios for is it's low price games and I mainly buy from indie devs, so stopping buying stuff that interests me because if the actions of big companies who know better, would hurt them.
I love my consoles, but because of the higher price, I'm more hesitant on purchases for those, 50 is a lot of money to me, and when I do have that kind of amount to spare, I like to treat my daughter to something, Or buy something our whole family can enjoy. So ios is a win win for me, because I can buy several few titles for myself without feeling like I'm taking things away from the family. I also back everything up on my PC so I'm not worried about stuff disappearing from my purchase history.

I'm not saying it's right that games are pulled from users purchase history, and if I'd spent 15 on a game that's gone a few weeks later I'd be cheesed off too, just that for me, I'll continue to buy what I like the look of and support the devs that are trustworthy, because they are as innocent as we are and often the games are in the lower price bracket.
10-16-2015, 02:38 AM
#4
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: U.S.A., earth
Posts: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudpuff View Post
You can play 360 games on Xbox now can't you? I'm sure I read that somewhere.

I'm probably in the minority but I haven't really changed my AppStore spending because of the recent hooha. One of the great things about ios for is it's low price games and I mainly buy from indie devs, so stopping buying stuff that interests me because if the actions of big companies who know better, would hurt them.
I love my consoles, but because of the higher price, I'm more hesitant on purchases for those, 50 is a lot of money to me, and when I do have that kind of amount to spare, I like to treat my daughter to something, Or buy something our whole family can enjoy. So ios is a win win for me, because I can buy several few titles for myself without feeling like I'm taking things away from the family. I also back everything up on my PC so I'm not worried about stuff disappearing from my purchase history.

I'm not saying it's right that games are pulled from users purchase history, and if I'd spent 15 on a game that's gone a few weeks later I'd be cheesed off too, just that for me, I'll continue to buy what I like the look of and support the devs that are trustworthy, because they are as innocent as we are and often the games are in the lower price bracket.
Well, if you're getting games on physical media, the trade off is you risk losing them, but you can resell or trade those. iOS means you can (almost) always re-DL stuff you may need to, but can't transfer those titles over to someone else.

And while it's noble to buy stuff to support indie developers, I can't afford to do so. I too have a huge backlog of games... for iOS, Android, Steam/PC, and Wii. I've probably got enough games to last me the next 5 years. Unless it's a game I REALLY want, or uber-cheap/free, then I'm essentially throwing $$ away. I only have 1 title that I'll buy IAP for as they release expansions for. That's it.