Bel VS Mobile Gaming

The Eureka Moment

Bel VS Mobile Gaming

I just had a moment of realization while checking on the progress of Vault 816…  I am not a mobile gamer.  While I really enjoy the idea of playing Fallout Shelter, I always have the same thought I have with any mobile game.  “Man I wish I could play this on my desktop or through a web browser.”  There are games that I enjoy the idea of playing… like Fallout Shelter, Alphabear, Dragon Coins, or Final Fantasy Record Keeper.  The problem is I get frustrated by the imprecise controls.  Using your finger to move objects around the screen feels so much more cludgy than doing it with a nice tight mouse pointer. Granted if I were a smaller person I would probably not be having any of these issues.

Sausage-Like Fingers

Bel VS Mobile Gaming

I am 6’4” and have huge hands…  I can palm a basketball. Attached to these huge hands are useless sausage-like fingers that have the fine motor skills of sleepy toddler.  The more I think about it… this fact has gotten in the way of my enjoyment of almost every mobile game I have played.  At first I thought the bulk of my problems would be resolved were I simply playing on a larger device.  However as I graduated from my iPhone 3s to a Samsung Galaxy S2 to a Samsung Galaxy S5…  each time the screen size increased sizably but the difficulty never went away.  When I finally got my own iPad I still felt like throwing it across the room anytime I was asked to do anything that required a modicum of detailed movement.

I realize there is such a thing as a stylus, but then I am having to fiddle with an awkward device on top of an already awkward control scheme.  The problem is…  there really are games that I want to enjoy on mobile devices.  Fallout Shelter for example takes two things that I have loved in the past…  the Fallout Franchise, and Sim Tower like gameplay.  During my pre-college and college years I spent silly amounts of my free time playing both of these games.  I spent enough time playing Sim Tower to be able to build freaking airports at the top of my towers.  I have played each of the Fallout franchise games multiple times, and even though I rarely play the original…  I feel like I could pretty safely pick it right back up and meld into the nostalgia nicely.  So I am the core demographic of this game…  except for the whole control scheme problem.

I honestly have no clue why I felt like I needed to write this post, other than having my own little Eureka moment.  For the longest time I thought my dislike of mobile gaming was more about the game experiences that you have on a mobile device.  Now I realize that is wrong… there are plenty of “gamerly” experiences available.  My problem is that I struggle to get any sense of control while playing a mobile game.  Finger based movement against a slick screen always feels chaotic to me.  It reminds me of how frustrated I get when trying to use a trackball.  I guess I am just accustomed to the mouse, keyboard and controller…  and when it finally comes down to relying on my own digits to make things work…  I find the experience frustrating.  I am wondering if anyone else out there with sausage-like fingers suffers from this same issue?  We should totally form a support group or something.

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