How Does Mobile Gaming Affect Our Reliance on Technology?
BY EDDY ZHAO '25
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people went digital for work or school. Amidst the dozens of mind-numbing Zoom meetings and hours of scrolling through social media, they discovered an engaging escape from reality: mobile gaming. These days, it’s easier than ever to play video games anywhere you want. For some, indulging in a quick round of Pokemon Go is an entertaining way to watch the minutes fly and take a break. Yet, the normalization of mobile gaming also reveals an underlying human desire for convenience and efficiency as people rely more on the digital world.
While confined to their homes, people’s internet time, or time spent on mobile devices in particular, has soared. To illustrate, a study conducted by the International Data Corporation and advertising platform LoopMe concluded that 63% of respondents reported an increase in gaming time over the pandemic. Further, researchers found that 75% of the increase in mobile gaming activity driven by the pandemic would continue indefinitely. Quarantine limited face-to-face interaction and typical pastimes like playing tennis or attending concerts, so people turned to a convenient way to connect with friends and family online: mobile gaming. This trend promises to continue because, through navigating fantastical worlds, people temporarily set aside their worries and fulfill the human desire to socialize without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Speaking of socialization, many people experienced isolation during the pandemic, which fueled the need for a convenient source of entertainment that emulated real-life fun. Moving away from the time-consuming setups of board games, people found downloading and tapping into an app much more time-efficient. Mobile gaming’s convenience is a prime factor in why it became so popular during the pandemic; since people can avoid the work of setting up a physical game and derive the same or even greater pleasure from playing (cue the addictive levels, catchy music and colorful graphics of today’s mobile games), it’s unsurprising why mobile gaming holds greater appeal. Add in the ability to socialize with friends online, and it’s no wonder why mobile gaming is so popular today.
As mobile gaming evolves with technological innovation, it shows how as people create more streamlined forms of entertainment, they also become more dependent on those technologies. Moving forward, it is important to consider the role technology has played—and continues to play—in our lives.