Tag: smartphone game

Did mobile games being played by rail dispatcher cause German train crash?

An investigation has revealed that before the collision that killed 11 people, a smartphone game was played.

An investigation is currently underway regarding the head-on rail collision in Germany in which 11 people were killed, and prosecutors have stated that a dispatcher had been playing mobile games on a smartphone shortly before the crash.

The dispatcher has remained unnamed at the time of the writing of this article but has been arrested.

The dispatcher was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide as it is believed that mobile games may have been distracting the individual who was required to pay attention in order to avoid the collision and the deaths of nearly a dozen people. The crash occurred on February 9, close to the town of Aibling. Both trains had been crowded with commuters when they collided, making this one of the worst railway accidents that have occurred in the history of the country.

Prosecutors assert that the male dispatcher was playing mobile games on his smartphone for “an extended period of time.”

Mobile Games - Image of Train CrashThey stated that this occurred until shortly before the crash occurred. Regulations for rail dispatchers prohibit the use of personal cell phones while on the job. The statement said that “Due to the close timing it must be assumed that the accused was distracted from controlling the cross-traffic of the trains.”

The suggestion is that the mobile game apps were distracting to the dispatcher and led him to send the wrong signals to the trains. Once the dispatcher realized what had happened, he pressed the wrong combination of buttons in order to make the emergency call, failing to properly alert the train drivers.

When questioned, the dispatcher admitted that he had been playing mobile games, but he denied that this caused him to be distracted. So far, investigators have not been able to discover any technical problems that could have either contributed or caused the collision between the two trains, according to the statement from the prosecution. This is only the latest in a growing number of cases accumulating worldwide which have associated mobile gaming with situations of dangerous distraction.

Mobile games aren’t being played as much as they once were

Flurry Analytics has reported that people simply aren’t as into the gaming apps they used to play.

Though smartphones are very near to reaching the saturation point, to the level that even babies who can barely talk are perfectly capable of swiping on a touchscreen, mobile games seem to have been sliding in their popularity.

This indicates that the way in which people are using their smartphones and tablets is continuing to evolve.

While mobile games do still remain quite popular and they may have been the driving force behind the popularity of apps back when smartphones were still somewhat of a novelty, it doesn’t appear as though people are spending quite as much of their time with mobile gaming as they previously were. The results of a study that was recently conducted by Flurry Analytics has shown that Americans are now spending only about 15 percent of their total smartphone or tablet usage time by playing with these apps.

When considering that the figure from last year had been 32 percent, that represents a serious plummet.

Mobile Games - Game on SmartphoneFlurry Analytics has explained this downward trend in the amount of time spent playing mobile gaming apps by saying that there has been a reduction in both the strong new hit games over the last year, and the fact that a large number of millennials spend time watching other people playing games through services such as Twitch, instead of actually being the players, themselves.

It was also pointed out by Flurry Analytics that there was a rise in the number of users who were willing to pay for in-app purchases within the games that they play, instead of spending the time waiting to receive the same or similar rewards. They’d rather spend money to speed things up than have to wait to earn the prizes, reducing the amount of playing time that is required to achieve the same goal.

The mobile games report from Flurry explained that “Gamers are buying their way into games versus grinding their way through them,” adding that “Gamers are spending more money than time to effectively beat games or secure better standings rather than working their way to the top. This explains the decline in time spent and the major rise in in-app purchases, as Apple saw a record $1.7 billion in AppStore sales in July.”