Gaming In An Island Nation

Do you remember back in the early 2000’s, when you rushed to your desktop computer or nearest internet café/computer shop to play your favorite MMORPG, RPG, FPS, Strategy games, MOBA, etc? That was the golden age of gaming.

Back when Starcraft was a measure of one’s strategic prowess, or when Counter-Strike tested the extent of your hand-eye coordination and Ragnarok Online… well, this established your belief that girls in-game are ‘not really girls’ and vice versa.

Ragnarok Online Market

Back in the day

Today’s generation did not get to live during these First-rate gaming years. Back when Vanilla WoW’s (World of Warcraft) Frost Mages and Shadow Priests were ‘owning’ even the strongest of tanks. DoTA was nothing but a blip on the radar and was considered an underground game. Tantra Online and RAN Online was one of the best 3D games at the time. Not to mention table top card games such as Yugi-Oh and Magic the Gathering was so big, local events were like scheduled TV shows that you see every day.

The REAL PINOY Internet Cafe

Source: https://pinoyhomeoffice.com/2017/02/27/can-i-use-a-computer-shop-to-work-online/

The gaming industry back then was driven by the power of desktop computers and physical social interactions. You had to allot time to fire up the old engine, sit down, connect to your dial up internet, listen to that God-forsaken whirr and bleeps as it rips your eardrum in half, and then finally play your game.

If you were like me, I did not have the benefits of owning a desktop nor a laptop, so I had to take a long 20-minute walk to the nearest internet café to play my MMORPGs. Competitive gamers like me consider this as a disadvantage because you literally had to schedule your playtime and play on a budget since you rent by the hour. If you’re lucky and diligent enough, you might end up on top of the PVP ladder like me! (Shameful brag, I’m sorry!)

Catching up with the modern day

Come the age of Mobile Games. Many of the gaming companies are now investing more on Mobile games than desktop or console games. Majority of Pinas’ population now have access to the internet and carry an ample powerful mobile device on their hands. Games like Dragon Nest M, Ragnarok M, Rebirth M, Lineage 2 Revolution are some of the titles that were old Desktop games that migrated to the Mobile Platform. Even ARPGs are now making waves! Given these factors, mobile gaming has become such a success not only in Pinas but all over the world. Mobile gaming tournaments are done left and right with games such as Mobile Legends, Vain Glory and Clash Royale. Even Blizzard™ came to‘cross-platforming’ their own CCG (Collectible Card Game) Hearthstone to Mobile Devices and now one of the ever-so famous, hack-and-slash franchise, Diablo is coming to mobile as well.

Today, every time you see your normal Pinoy holding their mobile device horizontally, you immediately assume that they’re playing a game. Try to look around and count how many do you see in one day? Ride a bus, take the train or just hang out in a mall. Everyone’s jumping on to the hype. Even non-gamers are enticed to try the latest gaming fad. You can even see some of your friends that did not play a single game back when you were ‘Rushing B’ in Counter Strike or building enough Pylons to sustain a quick Zealot Rush in Starcraft are now transformed into this newly bred, Mobile Gaming Beasts.

This is definitely a “Level up!” to the gaming industry. Knowing that the target of the game developers will now reach a wider range of players than what they’re targeting. This is unquestionably a fiesta for both parties (Gamers and Developers).

Some downsides

Behold the Mobile Gamers!

Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/advertorial/lifestyle/09/25/15/phs-top-clash-clans-players-go-battle

All upgrades said, there are certain drawbacks to this, which affects most gamers/players. With the continuous titles coming out, games have been swamping Google Play Store and App Store alike. The gaming community that was once tightly knit to a few selected game titles, are now divided into a heap of different groups.

Since mobile games are easily accessible to everyone, this floods the star servers of certain games with “Intro-Gamers” (People who stay on the game for 2 hours and then delete the game to find another one.) dividing the community more. The ease of admission to most game titles makes for a toxic community instead of a healthy, conducive and competitive one. The survival of hardcore gamers is now put to the test as they battle this kind environment every time they log in to play.  Not to mention the common Mobile Gaming trend which is ‘Auto-Battle’ or‘Auto-Questing’ which pretty much is the opposite of gaming.  Certainly, there are games out there that don’t have the Auto-Battle/Auto-Questing feature but to the gamers today, these are just too much of a hassle for them.

Conveniently….

Mobile gaming now has transformed from ‘Grind your way to the Top’ to ‘Auto-Battle till you Drop’. To some, this is a convenience. Gamers today can do other things on their devices, other than rampage to hands-on games. However, this hurts the hardcore-gaming community as it ruins the whole point of gaming in general.  For those people who enjoy interacting with your friends while you’re killing a high ranking Boss Raid, this kind of upgrade has crippled the gaming feel in general. More often, you see your friends online but not hands on.

From a 90‘s gamer perspective, this hype of mobile gaming certainly feels bad all across the board. I remember back in 2001 when our Guild was the top PVP team for South East Asia. We did not do Auto-Battle. We logged on, we scheduled raids, we assigned leveling parties, we collected rare drops and most importantly, we interacted. We talked… A LOT! Most of my friends were out of reach but the game we played kept us in touch. The skills we learned through gaming have made us the persons we are today.

In short…

It reminded us of how we played outdoors, as a team and as friends. To me, this is what the online gaming community should be. It should promote an environment that is exciting, while  at the same time, bridge gaps among people, especially with a platform that’s mobile and where you can log into a game anytime.

With all that being said, continue the grind and get those bosses down to their knees! Albeit via Auto Battle or Hands On strategics. As long as you keep track of your skills on cooldown, you should be fine! Or you can just simply trash talk other players or pose as a girl in Ragnarok M! Whatever you fancy! As long as you enjoy the game and keep it REAL PINOY.

If you want to play with me, I am currently playing different CCGs and MMOs. Below are the games that I currently binge on: 

Hearthstone || IGN: Iracai

Rebirth M || IGN: Yracai

Shadowverse || IGN: Iracai

Talion Online || IGN: Yracai

The Elder Scrolls Legends || IGN: theturkeffect