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Will Freeman discusses the transformative potential of mobile games with Deborah Mensah-Bonsu.
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Deborah Mensah-Bonsu, founder of dmb team, is featured in the latest edition of Playable Futures. Games for Good is her primary initiative, and it’s geared towards teaching developers and consumers how to use video games for good. Will and Deborah discuss the possibility that the proliferation of mobile video games presents for positive social and behavioural change.
Later, Deborah adds, “There is a capacity for mobile to engage with individuals who didn’t consider themselves players.” “People are beginning to understand that what it means to be a player is not what it was 10 years earlier,” Deborah says. For this, mobile has the upper hand.
Deborah is optimistic about mobile as a platform for development and connection, and the conversation touches on common themes in mobile gaming like monetisation (she says, “it’s not incorrect to invest cash on something that you believe is bringing you value”) and discoverability. However, the podcast also focuses on the power of the medium to result change.
Highlights from this episode are provided for the podcast listener down below.
Complementing Playable Futures, a compilation of ideas, interviews, and blogs from global video games executives offering their visions for the future of the market and medium, is the Playable Futures Podcast. Ten articles have been published thus far on GamesIndustry.biz, with more on the way. The work on Playable Futures was a team effort involving GI.biz, UKIE, and Diva.
Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Player FM, and TuneIn are just some of the podcasting services where you can find the GamesIndustry.biz Podcast. It’s also possible to directly download this episode.
Thomas Marchant composed the theme. Keira Freeman produced this episode.
Episode one of Playable Futures focused on the United Nations’ Playing for the Planet initiative, and its organiser, Deborah, was important in its success. As evidenced by the commitments made by the gaming industry at the 2019 Climate Action Summit, the GGJ has more than 100 million participants. Even though gamers have the freedom to build their games on whichever platform they like, mobile is still the preferred choice for many.
Several distinct aesthetics are discussed in this episode. How can future research be published to assess the impact of mobile video games on gamer behaviour, hence enhancing the sector’s ability to understand what goals are feasible? And what about effective mobile game publishing in terms of fundraising, fashion mindset, cultural change, and fun? The global reach of mobile games presents a significant opportunity for social impact, but how can we guarantee that impact? Whether at the studio level or in terms of game style, designers and developers have a lot of options to use mobile games as a tool for community building.
This feeling of belonging is at the heart of Deborah’s vision, and it is a theme that keeps coming up throughout the Playable Futures podcasts:
Everybody is just terrified and making a lot of fear-based decisions, and if we could create more spaces where it’s okay to be vulnerable, perhaps we could establish much healthier, much stronger connections, and video games are a great place to do that. We may imagine the futures we hope to have through video games.
Since being human is already challenging, we should strive to make life easier for one another. It’s a major roadblock, not just for mobile but for all of humanity.
The human connection players establish is made evident in their dialogue, as is its important role in the industry’s future. What we do with this opportunity is entirely up to us.
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