The iPhone and App Store, Defining New Terms

The iPhone was such a phenomenal technological tidal wave that is was named by Time magazine as the “Invention of the Year” for 2007. Even now it is easy to see the impact the device has made with all the companies coming out with their own version. Has anyone seen the Android? People surprised to see one would most likely be made fun of. For that reason what will not be found here is a description.

As with all new ideas there comes the ever-growing world of terms associated with said innovation. One new word that came with the iPhone: App.

What are Apps? This is where the fun begins. With the iPhone come the phenomena known as “Apps”, short for ‘applications’. These are software programs custom-made by a third-party for both the iPhone as well as the iPod Touch. A lot of these software devices may be quite practical, anywhere from paying bills online or to find the definition for a certain word. Then there are the fun ones, like Starblaster that includes a phaser-like weapon and something that looks much like a tricorder, as in Star Trek.

There are also Apps for many kinds of games or Apps geared toward finding out the latest on a particular celebrity. Some of these are available for free. Others are a few cents on up to a few dollars. These Apps can be acquired online through the web on a computer or directly through an iPhone by way of Apple’s iTunes through their “App Store”, appropriately enough.

Obviously, the most fun Apps are the games. With a little looking around one can find some pretty addicting games for no cost at all, like FallDown! For those games with a price tag, there’s a game called Spore Creatures where the player can create their own denizens and watch them evolve from primordial ooze and inhabit the environment for a few bucks.

Apps have become so popular there are now Apps to find Apps, like Appfinder and Chomp. These Apps help the user through what appeals to them. A few come with reviews of the Apps available. Just like what was true about the old board games is equally true about game Apps. Some may be uninspiring or just plain boring along with the truly fun ones. Either way there is a whole new take on how to occupy oneself.

Online Educational Games: How to Find Quality Games

Online computer games are now fun items for kids and growing children. However in many instances adults are not spared from this game mania too. Educational games are quality games, which are widely prescribed by teachers and educators for kids for their quality entertainment and utility support qualities for mainstream education curriculum. These educational games are available online also and these online games for their easy accessibility have earned wide popularity all over the world since last 5 years. While kids can spend quality time while playing these games, parents and teachers may enjoy the easy access of their wards into the realm of digital technology and acquiring mastery over the computer control.

While we all know the functionality of educational games and their comparatively easy availability via internet, it is equally intricate to know the ways to find them. Online search is a generic terms because it is not possible to know the quality of games and their efficiency level until we know some of the basic details of these games.

Online educational games are available for different levels; in kids category it is available for different age ranges of kids starting from toddlers to students appearing for high school standard. The uniqueness of these games is that these games are available with different functionalities and special emphasis on different qualities of an individual. For example, memory games are meant for enhancing memory power, puzzle games improves analytical ability of an individual and vocabulary games helps in improving vocabulary and command over language and expression.

The best way to know about quality online games is to read the reviews of different forums. These virtual walls of these forums contain different users’ experience about different games and these experiences can work as wonderful resources for tracing quality educational games from online source. Accordingly the URLs can be chosen.

It is always wise to get subscription with reputable gaming websites. Although free games are widely available, sometimes the quality content of these websites are not updated at regular basis thus the games may not provide unique experience for the users. The websites where the access to quality educational games are provided against reasonable subscriptions are one of the best resources for finding quality educational games.These websites, in order to retain their subscribers, always put special focus on incorporating new games and new attractions and allow their subscribers to avail the facilities.

There are multiple educational sites that have provision for accessing quality educational games for their subscribers. Some of these websites offer trail offer for 10-15 days. Before going for a subscription, it is suggested to avail the trial offer to judge the quality and level of the games offered by the said website to be at the safer side of the deal.

Games and Brand Extension – Do They Click?

For this article I wanted to look into the way that traditional games and gaming elements have been used to enter the mainstream space from a business standpoint to either incentivise consumers or engage them on a different level.

Games are primarily an entertainment medium, but that hasn’t stopped companies from having games developed to reach a different demographic than perhaps represents their core market. An ad campaign may run for 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 2 months but branding within a game can have a much longer shelf life. The most common example of brand extension within the gaming arena focuses on movie tie-ins. Many Disney/Pixar films release a game based on the film around the same date. It helps consumers engage with the film on a deeper level and get to know the characters and brand better making it ultimately more likely that additional purchases of merchandise or DVDs are made. The main issue with game tie-ins however is often they are rushed to coincide with the film release and most end up being fairly average titles. The sheer fact that the majority are aimed at a very young audience means though that children tend not to worry too much about this and just enjoy controlling the characters.

Looking at something completely different from an engagement aspect. Papa John’s pizza in the UK released a mobile gaming app which had you deal with pizza orders and create pizzas as perfectly and speedily as possible. App was priced at 69p with the hook being if you reached a certain score then you could earn a free pizza. It was a well made game and was quite a fun stand alone game as well as being challenging in the later levels. The only disappointing part was upon reaching your free pizza it was for collection only which limited me somewhat but was still a good prize.

Weight Watchers UK campaign last year focused on treating weight loss like a game thanks to the point system that was in use. It was an interesting take on things but it wasn’t continued for the 2013 marketing campaign. Arguably, despite the fresh take on losing weight, it didn’t engage the largely female audience of its membership base as even now, females are still in the minority when it comes to enjoying games. It perhaps didn’t resonate as strongly as it should have.

When there is a natural gaming tie-in that fits organically such as in Wreck-It-Ralph you get the best of both worlds – a good film and a very relevant game. You even have in-game advertising which can be seen in many of the Need For Speed series of games. Rockstar also create such believable worlds with their Grand Theft Auto series that there are teams dedicated to creating fictional brands within this universe – they actually extend their own brands within the games and also into the real world. Rusty Brown Ring Donuts is one that always springs to mind.

I’d be interested to hear any other examples you may have experienced perhaps in countries other than the UK.