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The Student News Site of Redwood High School

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Utopia or Dystopia? The hidden history of Bay Area cults
Utopia or Dystopia? The hidden history of Bay Area cults
Linnea Koblik and Tallulah Knill AllenJuly 12, 2024

Silhouetted against the sweeping landscapes of the Bay and the Marin Headlands, the Bay Area is well known for its position in the counterculture...

Public protests and perspectives
Public protests and perspectives
Ava Stephens, Gabriella Rouas, Aanika Sawhney, Nadia Massoumi and Grace GehrmanJune 29, 2024

Reflejando otra vez con los ELD seniors
Reflejando otra vez con los ELD seniors
Ava CarlsonJune 27, 2024

El año pasado, tuve la oportunidad de hablar con estudiantes del grado 12 en la clase de English Language Development (ELD) sobre sus experiencias...

Got games on your phone? Reviewing Eras of Online Games

The iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, before Redwood’s 2024 seniors were even toddlers. Gen Z’s childhoods have been marked by mobile phones, but the nostalgia for mobile games is especially felt. Periods of our childhoods were marked by iconic online games that filled our hours. These games have connected us since the days of iPads and iPhone 7s and have helped us on the road to adulthood. Whether this guide unlocks buried memories or gets you to redownload a few apps, let’s head down memory lane as we review the eras mobile gaming.

Illustration by Zach Dinowitz

The first touchscreen contact: Playing in your booster seat

For many, Doodle Jump, Cut the Rope and Angry Birds were some of our first mobile gaming experiences. After their release, these games gained mass playership during 2009 and 2010. These simple games transformed the mobile phone into more than a communication device. Rather than exhaling on the window and drawing smiley faces with our fingers, we had the opportunity to explore the diverse, endless frontier that was the parents’ iPhone. “Are we there yet?” was never a question when Temple Run was in hand. Redownloading any of these apps will bring back all of those first gaming memories — you’re just a bigger kid now.

Illustration by Zach Dinowitz

Got an iPad for Christmas: A new kind of game

As iPads became more popular, world-building games became primary downloads. Advancing in Hay Day or Clash of Clans was much more than leveling up; these games allowed us to raise a clan or a plot of land and work towards a goal alongside friends. In this era, games such as Hay Day began to use guilt-based messages like: “Your farm animals miss you!” to incentivize players to come back for more. Clearly, the entrance of the iPad ushered in a new generation of games, whether they were played at school or home. Revisiting these games may be nostalgic, but beware, your tribulations as a virtual farmer are time-consuming, and you might be too old for it.

 

New phone who dis: The back of the middle school bus 

Accompanying the dark chill of the morning bus, a screen glowing with Crossy Road was a common middle school occurrence. Mobile games began to enter the national news; Pokémon GO made headlines due to players being so unaware of their surroundings that some became seriously injured. Casual games still thrived in this era, as Crossy Road and Slither.io were perfect for short bus ride rounds. However, these games competed for phone storage alongside the more developed, time-consuming, competitive realms like Pokémon GO and Clash Royale. 

Illustration by Zach Dinowitz

Quarantine Frenzy: Freshman year 

As 2024 seniors entered high school during quarantine, peer connection was vital — a trend reflected in popular games. Fortnite, formerly available as a mobile app but mostly played on console, allowed students to compete in the battle royale lobbies for hours while talking in their party. These memories from quarantine carried over in Among Us, a popular mobile game where lobbies would attempt to find the “imposter,” who ran around murdering other players. These two games had a profound effect on popular culture, reflecting the connection and solace found in playing games together. TikTok trends amplified the impact of Among Us and Fortnite and emphasized the shared experience of wanting simple fun in a time of isolation. 

Throughout the different eras of adolescence, the games we played have changed in difficulty, format and device, but one factor remained the same: the bond and kinship formed between us, the players.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Johnson
Sydney Johnson, Games Editor
Sydney Johnson is a senior at Redwood High School and is the games editor for the Redwood Bark. She enjoys spending time with friends and going to the beach.