I was totally astonished a few years ago when I found out how big the market had become for what was then PC games. I couldn’t understand it – mainly because I very rarely indulge in playing them myself. It was only when I realised how much the kids (ie me) spend on XBox games that it sank in.
This lunchtime I saw someone playing “Angry Birds” on his mobile handset & said the only game I ever really played (Space Invaders and Galaxions aside) was Solitaire and that except for the occasional trip down memory lane I even gave that up many years ago.
It was only then that I understood why. 15 – 20 years ago I worked for Marconi. Such was the morale in that place that people used to spend whole afternoons playing Solitaire. We got very very good at Solitaire. My record was below 100 seconds. This was a skill built up over long hours of practice.
Then one day someone did it in less than 90 seconds. He had the perfect hand. All the cards fell right and every click was a winner! This had the effect of stopping everyone in the office from playing – it was the hand of a lifetime that we were never going to beat. It cured me and I have only played Solitaire a half a dozen times since.
All I need now is to figure out how to stop the kids from playing!
On a similar but different note I was talking with a mobile application vendor this morning. He said that of his 12 Tier 1 carrier customers only 2 were asking for support for Nokia and Windows Phone 7 and one of them was in an Eastern European market that had little smartphone penetration! Uhoh. Lots of people are already cured of Nokia it seems though we are still waiting for the big “final push” (enter melodrama stage left).
PS In my book Space Invaders remains the best ever electronic game. Screenshots are courtesy Wikipedia