There's been a lot of discussion about what is or isn't a video game resulting in some gamers who view games more as interactive experiences or interactive media. When we interact with our games, we typically think of us (the player) doing the interacting. But what happens when our games interact with us? It can really add to the experience and just might make you smile.

I'm currently playing two games that are nothing alike except maybe they interact with me. I interact with them and they interact with me. One is a mobile game and the other is on console. They take a different approach with how they interact with me but I don't mind. I'll discuss the mobile game first.

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is a business simulation video game developed by Disney Mobile and NimbleBit, and published by LucasArts for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows 8/RT devices. It is based on NimbleBit's previous game, Tiny Tower, and is set in the Star Wars universe.

I was never much of a Tiny Tower fan but decided to give Star Wars: Tiny Death Star a shot simply because it was Star Wars. It's a cute game and I love seeing my favorite Star Wars characters rendered as 8-bit pixelated characters. Perhaps my favorite feature of the game is when it interacts with me.

So, how exactly does Tiny Death Star interact with me?

Well, I'll tell you.

The other day I'm in a work meeting that hasn't quite started yet. I felt my phone vibrate, like it does when I get a text or an email. But when I checked, it wasn't a text...well, not quite a text. Unless of course you count the fact the game sent me a text-like message.

The Emperor was demanding my presence.

I couldn't help but laugh over I thought it might be something important, and it was a little 8-bit version of the Emperor checking up on me and why I wasn't working on building my tower up. Of course I was so enamored with the event I completely forgot about the fact it texted me...until a week later when it happened again. Truth be told, the game has messaged me quite a few times...and I always check...and I always chuckle when I see it's my good buddy the Emperor. Ah, I love getting messages from him.

Dead Rising 3

Speaking of a long time ago in a galaxy far far away...I downloaded the Smart Glass app for the Xbox 360, and subsequently never used it. A day or so ago I was giving a friend / co-worker a ride home and we were talking about Dead Rising 3 and he asked me if I was using the Smart Glass app. Of course I wasn't. I never even used it on the last generation console. He described the integration between the game and your smartphone using the Smart Glass app. Apparently you get these random simulated phone calls leading you to in-game missions that are only available when using this app. It's actually a pretty nifty little feature. And now I'm using the Smart Glass app.

So that's two games, one that sort of texts you and the other that kind of calls you (or at least simulates it) - but both are interactive with you via your mobile device. Regardless of the game and/or platform, this is a great little feature that I think (and hope) might see more activity in the future.

Think of the possibilities!

If our games start interacting with us via our other devices, I think it opens the door for some rather fascinating opportunities. I sort of envision merging this feature with something like Forza's Drivatar feature. Imagine if a game scanned your friends list and used the names to populate a text, email or simulated telephone call...and then sent it to your mobile device. We already know some games can do this, but if it becomes popular, perhaps we'll see the potential fully explored. I sure hope so.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an incoming call. It's the Master Chief and sounds like he might need my help saving Mojomonkey12 from the flood. I have to take this...

Today was hump day and the weekend is in sight.