Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Impact of Mobile Gaming in the Philippines

It is amazing how the smart phone has given a new light to mobile gaming. The fact that most of these games are free-mium (readily downloadable and playable for free but paying to play it will unlock features or boost the game in one way or another) make them more accessible for anyone with a smart phone.  Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram play a big role for sharing and promoting these games so much that, in an instant, the whole internet knows about these games. Mobile game developers have also incorporated how having a lot of social media connections can be a help on your game progress.

Over the past years, several game titles for mobile have gone viral and remain popular up until today. Who can forget about Flappy Birds, Temple Run, and Candy Crush?  It has also given way for handheld remakes and spinoffs of popular flash games back from the days like Doodle God, Bowman, Tower Defense, and Bejeweled.  Even video game big players like Square Enix are porting over versions of Final Fantasy into the mobile game platform. Other big hits like Plants vs. Zombies and Facebook games are being created into mobile games as well. It also gives the independent game developer and smaller companies a window to sell their games.

Clash of Clan (CoC) is a mobile game developed by Supercell that is sweeping smart phone users in the Philippines. It has steadily climbed both AppleStore and Google Playstore as one of the highest grossing app. Globally launched in 2012, CoC is game wherein players will build and design their own base, train their own troops, and attack other players. The main goal of the game is to strengthen your own base and troops while enduring enemy attacks by upgrading them using gold that you can loot from other players when you attack. Sounds easy enough? Not really. There more to this game than its cool graphics, wonderful characters, and constant updating and game-play development that Filipinos are willing to spend their Globe, Sun, and Smart load on.

What’s really exciting about this mobile game that it draws in hardcore and casual gamers of different ages is that it a Massively Multiplayer Online Tower Defense game on the tip of your hand that you can play wherever you go, whenever you want to. The game also let you join a clan to participate in even crazier raid called Clan Wars. With this kind of social game play, the game spawned creations of Facebook groups where they can ask for help and request for troops from their clan members and discuss strategy. There are also growing Facebook pages, Wikis, Forum Communities, and YouTube channels dedicated in disseminating information about the game.

The game is such a success in the Philippines that even mobile internet data provider are offering promos that will maximize their customers’ prepaid credits (Globe load, Sun load and Smart load), giving them enough data for  playing the game while checking the internet for reference about the game.

Considering this kind of response for mobile gaming, we can only expect that the future of mobile gaming is shining bright for us.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Philippines, a Free Wi-Fi Country

Early March this year the Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines announced that they will be implementing a Free Public Wi-Fi across the Philippine archipelago. It will be launched on July 24,2015 on key areas in Metro Manila.

Target areas of implementation would be public places such as parks, schools, hospitals, train stations, airport, piers, and government offices. This is a broadband internet connection that has an average speed of 256 kbps with a data limit of 50MB daily per user.

If you would come to think of it, 50MB is very small for an average Filipino internet user that only uses the net for FB, research or for playing online games but still it is better to have a slow internet connection than having none at all. It would be a big help specially for under privileged students who do not have enough money to rent on computer shops. Also, having a free public Wi-Fi would mean that we can momentarily stop relying on internet promos of free globe load.

Plus, according to a study made by the world bank, on a 10% increase of national connectivity, 1.38% increase on GDP is contributed to the growth of the economy.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How to Stop “Free” Text Alerts

Free Globe load. Win free load. Free Games. Free Ringtones. Free Facebook/Twitter.

The sweetest words in the universe, only if these are real you’ll be forever attached to your smartphone.

Here is the ugly truth.

The screenshot above is one of the examples of the network’s text alerts or advisories. These supposedly “free” text advisories. The telecommunication network we’ve mentioned here is not only the culprit. Sadly, every network does this and with a version or cloaking method of their own.

This is one of my pet peeves. I treat them as annoying digital critters or squatters in my inbox. What is my initial response to these automatic alerts? I auto-delete it while wearing a frowning face. Over the course of time, my reaction changed from furious to “duh, whatever” then I execute it with my thumb hitting the erase button. Is it quite a heartless move? Don’t blame me; they (I refer to the texts) deserved it.

Are you not aware these messages are equally heartless? They eat up your precious load. I am not talking from experience but based on the numerous testimonies or complaints posted online. Sometimes complainants call it as “[insert sender’s number here] scammer.” Even if you don’t subscribe on such service they will deduct a few or more pesos from you without your consent. It could be worse once you fell on their trap because they will send you “free” wallpapers/ringtone nonstop. In other words, they will spam to their heart’s content.

If only we could leave without load. The most convenient way of communication is through mobile phones because we could carry it anywhere (your tiles are the “living” witnesses, right?). Nowadays, mobile phones are not limited to call and text. It also has features such as video-calls, internet browsing, chatting, and all web-based related activities we could think of. Unfortunately, we need to load up to enjoy these and we must spend every single peso wisely. Yet, here comes another text advisory ready to ruin our day and charged us unknowingly.

How will you prevent this from happening?  Never subscribe. As long as it doesn’t do anything suspicious behind your back, just ignore it. However, we are curious in nature and the word “free” seem a siren singing to us. For those who want to be freed from their booby traps, follow the instructions below:

To stop a specific service:
1. Text CHECK
2. Send to the 4-digit number
Through this action, you will know what type of service you’re (unwillingly) subscribe of.
3. Text STOP [name of the service]
4. Send to the 4-digit number

Or simply do this:

1. Text STOP ALL
2. Send to the 4-digit number

After this, hopefully, they will stop bugging you.

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