Like me, you have likely picked up a gaming app or two over the course of the pandemic. With less things to do outside of the home and more time spent isolated indoors, we’ve developed more time in our days to spend messing around on our phones.
For me, right at the beginning of the pandemic, I picked up a small obsession with the game Disney Magic Kingdoms. I would spend a few hours a day playing this game and, shamefully, spent a little bit of real world money on it too.
I was really into this game, and a few others. There was a woodturning app I was really into; it was super relaxing and a stress reliever to the pandemic – until the endless ads hit.
Some of these games have a ridiculous amount of ads. A lot of them will give you an ad before and after every turn you take. Sometimes the “gameplay” will take approximately 20 seconds and the ad will be 30 seconds.
One of the silliest parts about these ads to me, is that after downloading a number of games because they look interesting based on the ads I see for them in other games, I noticed that it’s this same circle of games all advertising themselves to each other! How do these games make money when they seem to be in a Ponzi scheme of advertisement?
It’s completely understandable to see an ad or two in a free game. That’s how the game stays free, of course. But when users spend more time in the app watching ads than playing the game, it ruins the experience.
The pandemic, it seems, has created a surge in both casual mindless games as well as ads in these games. We’re all bored and looking for something to do on our phones that isn’t doom scrolling on social media, and where internet users go, advertisers follow.
Even if you aren’t a phone game user, you have likely been plagued by this endless stream of advertisements. Snapchat’s “Discover” feature seems to get worse and worse everyday. Sometimes I will see interesting content that I want to view, but after every 15 second clip users have to watch a 5 second ad. It makes the content difficult to follow and can be frustrating.
This is the age we live in: we consume content online everyday. We get our news from Snapchat, we play our silly little phone games. It is unfortunate that as our content consumption evolves through the pandemic, we are continuously forced to partake in ads that are annoying and make the content unenjoyable. I just wish these advertisers understood that their endless stream of ads make me click away from their stories and delete their apps. Maybe they’ll find the right balance eventually.
Mikayla Rochelle is a graduate student studying public administration at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.