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[personal profile] sarasa_cat
Sometime life gets in the way of composing posts. When those moments of Life™ pass, well, here we are.

The short update is that I have been playing Final Fantasy Record Keeper on and off, and somewhere along the line I got two more of my characters to level 99. But what I am doing on FFRK isn’t the interesting part of this post. But, since I am speaking of FFRK, right now I am still just bumbling forward, hitting everything with the few hammers I have, although it is now clear that strategy needs to be applied for the high level battles. I just haven’t done much of that yet because when I have been play FFRK, my brain has been in “off” mode. Sometimes I think my iPhone lulls my brain into “off” mode. >_<


So, here is the real meat of the post:

It is interesting how I, in 2018, equate mobile games with “whatever runs on my phone or, perhaps, my overly large tablet (an iPad Pro).” Yet, with all of the recent ShinMegamiTensei/Persona excitement in my life, I remembered that mobile games were something I once played on dedicated handheld consoles.

Last night I dug my ancient PSP and my equally ancient Nintendo DS out of a box. I rummaged through my games – hardcopies – and made mental notes of which games I probably have in digital form from the playstation store, and then set everything up to start charging.

This morning, I re-engaged my brain with an ongoing less-than-satisfactory relationship I have been forming with my current mobile device of choice (an iPhone) and with the ever-ticking clock.

As for those “ancient” mobile gaming devices, last I remember – and this was some years back – I had trouble making my PSP to work with my wifi but I do remember successfully downloading some things onto it via the Playstation Store. For instance, Vagrant Story (aaaaahhhhhhhh this game). I am not home right now but, when I get back, I will see if these devices still work (hold battery charge), connect up with anything (wifi? computer?), and successfully play games. Brief update will follow.

For the record, I loved the concept of the PSP far more than playing on the PSP. Something about the shape of the PSP didn’t fit comfortable in my hands and I found myself accidentally switching it into hold/off mode far too often when I needed to rapidly button mash certain combos. (Note: I hate button mashing).

I never upgraded to the Vita nor to the various Nintendos that came out after the basic DS. At the moment, I have a nice selection of DS games including various Ivalice spin offs (ahhhhh) and random lesser known games, etc. A small part of me feels that after a decade+, it is time to consider upgrading one of these systems while still keeping these two (assuming they still work, because, after all, I have a good collection of games, RPG and casual, in hardcopy form) … If I decide to upgrade, I have a gift certificate on amazon that has been sitting there, waiting for an excuse to be used … but I haven’t made any decisions yet. Yet.

So, back to that comment I made above about my “ongoing less-than-satisfactory relationship” with my current mobile device of choice: my iPhone.

I have been increasingly feeling as if my cell phone has become a disease that took over too much of my free time. I default to it out of laziness and convenience, but also out of this assumed/presumed false sense that Latest Is Greatest – that whatever any of my news apps have just posted or whatever any of my podcast subscriptions have just updated is more Relevant™ and more Important™ than spending time in a fictional world or messing around with a good old fashion brain-teasing puzzle.

To be more direct, I feel like way too much time on my iPhone is taken up with “junk reading” via these various news apps, not to mention the mindless scrolling on Tumblr and Instagram. This isn’t to say that current events aren’t important or that looking for inspiring art/visuals on Tumblr and Instagram isn’t relaxing and/or professionally useful (in my case). Instead, it is that all of these apps become a scroll-hole: a black hole in which time is lost SCROLLING SCROLLING SCROLLLING because it is so brainlessly easy to scroll for the latest new thing.

Bringing this back to mobile gaming, once upon a time I actually did a lot of handheld gaming plus things like reading books and comics that were at least one order of magnitude better than the junk reading via my phone’s news apps.

Of course, maybe given the current state of world affairs and the horror show that is journalism, the quality-to-junk ratio in newspapers, news magazines, and podcasts has become … well, it makes me question my use of time. I mean, about a year and a half ago, I STOPPED LISTENING to most of my daily news podcasts because very little of what they said seemed relevant or useful any longer.

Now, while one might say that reading political news, economics analyses, and a wide variety of critical writing on sociopolitical events is “Better™” than “wasting time” playing games or reading fiction or comics, (1) it is clear as day that my collection of newspaper / newsmagazine apps are now full of far more junk than useful quality content and (2) after spending the last 22 years of my life sounding the alarm bell regularly, coherently, and articulately in settings that were casual and professional (including my own professional writing/teaching/talk-giving), I have come to the hard-nosed conclusion that almost no one listens because most people, for a wide variety of reasons, are not in a cognitive/experiential mindset that allows them to listen. That last statement is not to be read as “societal alarm bells should not be rung” or as “being a messenger/explainer is a waste of time,” but, instead, that I have passed that baton and have been off doing other things because those other things also need doing. Namely, things that have to do with narrative, narrative theory (fictional, nonfictional, ethnographic, etc), visual narrative, etc. Really, the true love of mine that, on and off, has fought to important part of my day job (sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing due to what gets funded, what doesn’t, blah blah blah). Anyhow.

I have complained too much in recent years that I just don’t have enough free time for immersing myself in NARRATIVE (books, comics, story-based games) and, also, in BRAIN TWISTERS (basically, any kind of puzzle or thinky-aspect or tactics/strategy aspect of a GAME). Well. I think today is the day for me to reclaim this supposed lack of free time by switching up how I manage my time. Y/y?

You know, even though this has been itching my brain for a long while, maybe playing a Persona game finally made me acutely aware of how critical time management is. Like, always have the player character in Persona 5 carry a physical dead-tree book, especially when on public transportation, despite the fact that he is in modern day Tokyo with a modern day cell phone on hand. Let’s face it: there is a lot of positive things to be said abut single-use dedicated devices. A physical paper book is specific in ways that an iPhone with various reading apps (and other things) is not. It is for reading. Period. That is the main use a physical paper book is designed for. Likewise, a PSP (or PSVita) and a handheld Nintendo system is far more single use than a mobile phone, despite any internet capabilities they might have.

Obviously, one could set up their phone (or tablet) to prioritize relationships with more in-depth forms of media. In my case, my e-reader apps for reading Actual Books, comics, manga, and for listening to audiobooks; and also for playing games that play well on a touch screen (although a number of games that interest me just don’t work as well on a touch screen after being ported to iOS). But that said, even when I attempt to use my phone/tablet primarily for such things, there is something about the iPhone that tends to encourage mindless time wasting (at least for me) in Crap Apps – my various newspaper and news magazines, or googling for things that just end up becoming a black hole of time lost, never to be regained again.

(and as I type that, my mind’s eye automatically pictures the clock and calendar advancing in a Persona game. ;)

As for what I end up playing this week as my main mobile game vs my fall back game for pleasurable nostalgic grinding goodness (aka, FFRK and DissidiaOO), well, TBD.


I plan to begin using my Mobile Gaming Monday posts as a means to KEEP MYSELF HONEST. Sort of like giving up cigarettes. Mobile gaming, in whatever form it takes each week, needs to become an alternative wasting time in crap apps, and, frankly, I feel bad calling some of those news/essayist media apps “crap apps” because a handful of them are dedicated to doing actual journalism but … as I said above, when I think of the limited hours of the day as the ever-advancing clock and calendar in a Persona game, a lot of stuff that feels Important™ in the moment is really just a waste of my personal, limited time when viewed across a period of months or years.

Date: Tuesday, 17 July 2018 04:15 pm (UTC)
renegadefolkhero: hyper light drifter (Default)
From: [personal profile] renegadefolkhero
ooohhhh I feel this. After my LCD broke I decided it was an Opportunity™ to downgrade and treat the phone more like a single-use device (call/text) and stop using it for news, social media, etc. Now free time is more productively spent on hobbies and interests and my quality of life has definitely improved. I feel AOK saying spending time playing Fortnite is a much better time expenditure for me than reading news right now. I am starting to prefer single-use devices because they help target time better. Pick up an e-reader, well, I'm gonna read a book. Pick up a phone... and who knows where that ends up if I'm not delineating use.

I tried to go back to my old DS Lite recently and couldn't get into it, I think improvements between gens are so substantial it's hard to go backwards device-wise because it generally means smaller inferior screens, less battery life, etc. Before I got a Switch I seriously considered the 2DS XL and was pleased the 3DS family had that type of middle-ground option.

Date: Wednesday, 18 July 2018 01:40 am (UTC)
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lassarina
This is a fascinating series of thoughts because I, in general, prefer single use devices. I have a Kindle rather than use the app on phone or iPad. I do play some mobile games, as you of course know, but mostly those are for my train commute when pulling out something else is too much of a hassle, particularly if I cannot get a seat.

But I've been practicing limiting phone games to only my commute on weekdays. It's interesting.

Date: Wednesday, 18 July 2018 03:47 pm (UTC)
seventhe: (Edge/Rydia: no return)
From: [personal profile] seventhe
i definitely hear the siren call of the iPhone Black Hole. I enjoy the mobile games on my phone immensely, but it's also much too easy to fall into the Tumblr/Facebook/Whatever trap and then suddenly check the clock and it's 21:30 and you haven't done anything useful (or is that just me) (lol).

i also have mobile gaming systems, but i haven't been great at using them in my adult life. i don't know why! i have a Vita and good games to play on it, but it's like: another device to manage and keep charged and etc. and since i've integrated much of my life management into my mobile (i live by my iPhone, sometimes (during a disability flareup) literally), it's easier to play the games on that.

i don't knowwww why isn't there more time in every day


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