Mass Gaming: Dialaphone Futures


Odeon, the popular cinema chain, wants to create an interactive gaming experience for their customers to take part in before a film begins. Talks have included an idea in which movie goers will use their smartphones to join a mass multiplayer game played out on the cinema screen, via a mobile app.

Odeon’s digital development manager Gerald Buckle, said: “70 percent of our audiences have smartphones in their pockets, so how are we going to interface with that in a nice simple fashion?

“With one or two presses of the keypad, you’re logged in, playing the game with 190-odd people in the auditorium before the show starts” – what better way to start a picture?

Joining together in an arcade skirmish with your fellow film fanatics could prove popular, but there’s been no word on whether or not there will be an option for those who simply want to take a look a the trailers that are normally shown before a film.

Odeon has spotted a potentially big market though, with interest in mass multiplayer platforms being widespread. We take a look at some examples of the phenomenon below.

Eve Online

In July 2013, the largest ever online multiplayer space battle took place for five hours, in a game called Eve Online.

At the climax of the battle, there were 4,070 players and their ships locked in epic conflict for control of one of the solar system’s resources, contained within the game’s huge universe.

The battle pitted spaceships belonging to a gaming group called CFC against those from rival gang the Test Alliance in a region of game-space known as 6VDT. It ended in victory for CFC.

World of Warcraft

In World of Warcraft fantasy adventure knows no bounds. Within the fictional world of Azeroth, gamers work and explore to sustain life and gain new talents.

There is a dark side to its success though, and research by Swedish organisation The Youth Care Foundation has sited WoW as the most addictive game on the planet.  The group works with addiction charities and has noted that since it began its activities they haven’t dealt with a gaming dependence case in which World of Warcraft wasn’t involved.

The ‘offline’ community


Although there have been a lot of negatives spouted about mass gaming, what’s to say it can’t be a enjoyed as a physical social event, in which gamers can sit together not just online, but offline too? Well, an internet cafe in Glasgow has done just that.

Since having opened its doors to an ever increasing flock of insomniac gamers, 1 Level Up in the city’s  St Enoch Square, now hosts monthly events which attract 10 – 15 people to their secretive, second-floor sanctuary.

Where many people’s weekends revolve around a beer soaked pub table, the interest in this small gaming community appears to be on the rise, proving that gaming isn’t always the anti-social experience it is sometimes thought to be.

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