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This article was originally posted in the October 2004 issue (Vol 11, No. 2)

 

About the Author

Sabine Allaeys is co-owner and creative director of Flow CmM and conceptor of the MiniFizz girls and universe. Previously, she worked as an art director in advertising companies where she learned what it takes to create a brand. In 1999 she founded her own company with Francois Grimonprez.

For more information about Flow CmM and MiniFizz, see www.minifizz.com.

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STC Usability SIG Newsletter

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Usability Interface

Mobile Phone Games Designed for Girls

By Sabine Allaeys

The mobile phone is more than simply a telephone. Mobile phones often include a camera, e-mail, GPS, agenda, calendar, WiFi, and games. Designing games for mobile phones provides unlimited opportunities. One company that has stepped into the arena of mobile phone game design is Flow CmM®.

Market Research

Flow CmM, based in Brussels, Belgium, started its mobile phone game development in 2001. The games are primarily targeted at young women and girls. Flow CmM is very aware that the user base for mobile phones is divided equally between boys and girls, whereas for software games, it is weighted more heavily toward boys. Few games exist for girls.

Taking into account Java-enabled phones, the number of girls equipped with phone-based gaming machines today is larger than the total number of portable gaming machines sold by Nintendo since its beginnings. That’s why Flow CmM created MiniFizz adventure games for girls.

The MiniFizz Concept

MiniFizz is certainly not just a traditional boys’ game painted pink. What we have done with MiniFizz is look at what girls want and then create around that.

MiniFizz Mission is a game that is part of a larger activity portfolio developed to meet the interests of young women and girls. It’s a short story on your mobile phone. You download a MiniFizz that invites you to live a real time adventure during four days.

The second game, which was launched recently, is called MiniFizz Avenue. It is part of a series based on the appeal of urban tourism. It’s a classical platform game leading you through the famous avenues of Paris.

Flow CmM has created a series of mobile adventure games where feminine values are highlighted. Important factors in the games are communication, psychology, and affection. Looks, society, and fashion are presented in a balanced, contemporary way topped by a good zest of humor.

MiniFizz, which offers variety, promotes multinational and multicultural. The multi-faceted, user-selectable characters drive the game adventures. Culture, art, and science are part of the passions and interests of these heroines as well as relationships—this sensibility is the kernel of the MiniFizz secret. As the Web site says, we celebrate the fact that "It’s great to be a girl."

Image of Mini Fizz characters

Figure 1. MiniFizz characters 
(graphic courtesy of www.minifizz.com)

How MiniFizz Works

For a MiniFizz mission, the game is contained in an application that uses the phone’s clock to reproduce an adventure in real time. The MiniFizz application is compatible with Nokia (models 3100, 3300, 3510i, 6100, 6600, 7210, 7250, and 7250i), Siemens, Motorola, Sharp, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson phones.

For MiniFizz Avenue, the adventure starts with a phone call.

“Lisa! Gil Jump is at the Georges V, it’s a scoop, if you manage to take a picture of him you’re certain to make it to the cover of FIZ magazine.” Then amazing race begins through the City of Lights. The heroine must arrive at the time of the appointment and with a maximum of self-confidence.

Rollout

MiniFizz has been available since October, 2004 on Vodafone Belgium (Proximus), Orange Belgium (Mobistar), and O2 UK, Turkcell. We are also in the process of signing with an Asian distributor (for distribution in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore) and with a distributor in North America.

 

 

 
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