The Slow-Game app is the new smoke break

Neko Atsume is my coping mechanism of choice. Six months after downloading the application, simply to watch my cats several times a day turned into an integrated senseless habit all my others – check my email, check Twitter, feed the cats. I have already recovered each of the 56 cats Neko Atsume – the ostensible point of the game – but I still play. It went from game to ritual and even the atmosphere. This is the new cigarette break.

While slow desktop and game console have been around for years (the dreamy, moody indie puzzle game Cloud debuted in 2005), there is something particularly haunting about slow gaming on a mobile device. At the start of the iPhone App Store, Koi pond became a surprise blockbuster mobile when it was released in 2008. The application provides a framework placid with just a touch of interactivity: it invites you to look into a clear pool to touch the surface and look at a bench koi carp scatter out of sight. then slowly return to repopulate the screen. The following year, the company behind Koi Pond published Distant shore, a game in which you walk along an endless beach, collect seashells, write messages to put in bottles, and then throw the bottles into the waves. While walking, you find bottles written by other players around the world and also read their posts – it’s a haphazard and rarefied form of communication that you can’t often find on social media. Now the App Store is dotted with dozens of quiet smartphone portals that are antidotes to the maddening intensity of traditional video games and the accelerating pace of life online.

But in another way, slow games are less of a rejection of high-octane internet culture than they capitulate to it. By freeing gamers from the burden of extreme concentration and physical control, slow games allow us to integrate a mobile game into every free moment, multitask between monitoring and texting on Facebook and gaming.

And while Pokémon Go can attract casual gamers with the ability to collect cute characters around the city, the game can attract many of them in advanced, obsessive, competitive play. These slow games like Professor Davidson College and researcher Mark Sample me video game said, “shaped in the interstices of our lives. “The rise of mobile games slow enabled us on the” play waiting games while we’re waiting, “he said, adding,” It’s a bit kinky: slow games aestheticize the experience of waiting. “

games offer a slow release, but their escape is on display too. Running out of lives in Candy Crush, you’ll be able to watch your aloe plant, tend your garden, and feed the cats.

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