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ONM Remembered – #435

“Smokin’ Dawg! Chav Radar! Bike/Plane crash?!”


from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 07 (September 2006)

Ah, the “mobile phone trash” ads.

I don’t miss these one bit.

It feels totally alien that mobile phones were once so limited in customization and accessibility that you could barely upload images or files to them, meaning if you wanted to fill your phone with images of hot babes, pitbulls, marijuana imagery and any combination of the three smoking blunts, then you had to pony up some dough. Mercifully, there’s now a dozen ways of accomplishing that with utmost ease and zero cost, as one acquaintance at my workplace will testify. (there’s something charmingly meta about an anthropomorphic joint with Bob Marley’s face toking up)

Tacky apps and digital curios have always been a thing for mobile phones, and they’ve never been a high-class act, but at least nowadays you can point to at least a couple of creations that were notable successes or just plain nifty. Back then the technology was such dreck and the payment methods so skeezy that it felt like you’d be endangering your security if you used it, all for the thrill of Shrek shouting at you as a ringtone.
I’ve mentioned it before in my mobile phone game playthroughs, but as far as I’m aware, there’s a shocking lack of documentation on this side of game development. What was it like trying to squeeze a game onto a medium that came in multiple different screen sizes, with a wide range of different ‘control schemes’ and had difficulty downloading even the smallest file? Heck, I wonder if there was a legitimate cottage indsutry of folks making these custom animations for phone home screens… or if it was just some bozo ripping off animations online and making bank off other people’s work.
You know, I think that’s the running theme throughout all of mobile phone app development.