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Question: How are mobile platforms changing video games?

Nicole Lazzaro:  Yeah, the iPhone and other…  The iPhone is taking gaming to a whole other level of play because it’s always with you.  It always with you and there are a lot of new sensors, so you’ve got accelerometer and geocoding, that sort of thing, and more importantly I think is it’s also social and so that social interaction that through game play because it has your contact list on it for example, you know, being able to bridge out to your friends and play together in these micro payments of time if you will is going to be a huge thing for the iPhone.  And I say this even though I invented the very first game to use the accelerometer.  The very first version of Tilt I designed with Joe Hewitt at iPhone dev camp about a week after the iPhone came out and we…  It was really fun because we just two web pages, one YouTube video and yet we got 250,000 visits because we mapped the mechanics of the game into the new control set of the iPhone and then also it created that sense of wonder, that curiosity, wonder and surprise and when people who had an iPhone…  They didn’t have an app store, no API or anything like that, so they could play with the things that came on the device, but if they hopped over to our web page they could have a whole new experience to show to their friends.  There was a lot of over the shoulder play as well. 

And so, you know, just sort of wrapping back in what we’ve got is this whole now set of games and it’s not just the control.  It’s not just the micro form that fits in your hand, but it’s that connectedness and the fact that I can asynchronously play with my friends again to sort of weave more social fabric with them.  That’s what is going to be the real killer app if you will you know for the iPhone.  And in fact, you know, with the new… the newly announced iPad, I predict that e-reading isn’t going to be the dominant… You know, reading your newspaper is not going to be the dominant use case at all.  The dominant thing is actually going to be gaming and two player gaming though.  I don’t think many people will, you know, hold that device that that’s large you know in front of them you know for that long to let’s say drive a car.  What will happen though is I could put it down you know in between us and then we have a… then we have a game board between us and then kind of like that Star Wars chess scene, you know, in Episode Three or whatever.  You can actually make moves and we can share that environment or we have it in our lap and we have this Battleship kind of experience where I can see some of your screen, but not.  That’s going to be… For the first time we’re going to have real face-to-face electronic gaming.  I can’t wait.  We’re going to be obviously taking Tilt to the iPad, and I can’t wait to see what developers come up with.

Recorded on February 16, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen

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