MGRL Physical Collection

We are proud to present our physical collection of the MGRL. Our physical collection consists of popular gaming consoles used throughout 1975 to 2008. Examples of some of the consoles you might see in our collection include the GameBoy and Nintendo DS to name a few. We would love to grow our collection as we accept donations from anyone willing to part with their old consoles.

     For more details email us at mobilegaminglab@ncsu.edu and check out our Retro Mobile Gaming Database here Database.



BuzzFeed Quiz

What kind of mobile game player are you? You've likely devoted plenty of time to games like Pokémon GO and Angry Birds, but have you ever wondered about mobile games from the not-so-distant past? Answer the questions in this quiz and it'll pair you with a retro mobile game from the Retro Mobile Gaming Database, a collection of mobile games from 1975 to 2008 created by the Mobile Games Research Lab at North Carolina State University. Click the link below to go directly to our BuzzFeed Quiz!


Check out our quiz here BuzzFeed Quiz

Game on!

We've recently launched our Retro Mobile Gaming Database, which allows users to search games by multiple search criteria including title, year developed, type of game, and more. This robust search system will help researchers not only to find games but also to create new correlations among historical types of mobile games.

Adrianna de Souza E Silva, MGRL Director and Professor of Communication, has designed a quiz featured on the Chass Accolades Magazine. Test your mobile gaming knowledge in this short quiz, and feel free to use the Retro Mobile Gaming Database as a resource! 



The MGRL Spring '21 Lecture Series

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST

Join us for the Mobile Gaming Research Lab '21 Lecture Series webinar. To celebrate the release of the Retro Mobile Gaming Database, this webinar will feature scholars whose research is at the intersection of mobile games, archives and history. The talks will explore the history of touch-based mobile game interfaces and how Pokémon Go contributes to the creation of digital memory.

For more information, visit our webpage.

The MGRL Retro Mobile Gaming Database

Want to know more about the origins of our Retro Mobile Gaming Database? We were recently featured in a post on the NCSU Newsletter, in which we discuss the database's purpose and how it's important to study the history of mobile games. The post provides insight into our design choices, the need for such a database, and our focus on a collaborative approach.

Please give it a read and contact us with any questions or concerns.

 We look forward to your feedback and participation in creating this robust source for research in mobile gaming! 


The MGRL's Retro Mobile Gaming Database Release

On February 1st, 2021, we released our Retro Mobile Gaming Database (RMDB), an online, publicly searchable database of early mobile games from 1975-2008. This database allows users to search games by multiple search criteria including title, year developed, type of game, and more. This robust search system will help researchers not only to find games but also to create new correlations among historical types of mobile games.

If you know of a game not currently in the database, you can help to populate our database by suggesting a new game. We hope for this to be a robust resource for game scholars, students interested in games, and game enthusiasts to learn about the history of mobile games!

Frans Mayra

The MGRL Fall 2020 Brown bag lecture featuring Frans Mäyrä

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, from 12-1: Watch the Talk

The University of Tampere Game Research Lab has focused on studying some of the key emerging game and play forms over the last two decades, such as location-based mobile multiplayer gaming, pervasive play, games with digital distribution and micropayments, social network games, and hybrid playful designs. Much of this work has been based on a combination of humanities, social sciences, and design research work to build bridges between theoretical and foundational research and applied for future-oriented work. In this short talk, professor Mäyrä will discuss his experiences with combinations of academic and creative work, focusing on the differences of studying games vs. play, and will then move to outline the history, potential, and need of theory for what he calls pervasive culture of play.

Appearance on WUNC's "The State of Things" -- Director of the Mobile Gaming Research Lab, Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva

February 13, 2020: Listen to the episode on WUNC's website

Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva (director of the MGRL) appeared as a recent guest on WUNC's "The State of Things" radio show and podcast, titled "Embodied: How Online Gaming Creates Real-Life Love". During this episode, Dr. de Souza e Silva discussed how early location-based mobile games created hybrid spaces--that is, a space that merges the boundaries between the digital and physical world. Additionally, she discussed more recent mobile games and their potential to encourage sociability, promote bonding, and deepen our relationship with the world around us.  

yellow handheld gaming device with hand crank

Lecture: Playdate, a new handheld video game console

September 17, 2019, in Caldwell Lounge, NC State. Watch the Talk 

Greg Maletic (Director of Special Projects at Panic Inc.) gave a lecture about Playdate. Playdate is a tiny, yellow, handheld game console, which made a bigger splash than its creators envisioned when it was announced in May 2019. Relying on a combination of old tech (a 1-bit black-and-white display), new design (from Sweden), and some just-plain-weird ideas (a side-mounted crank as a game controller), software maker Panic Inc. hopes that Playdate can carve itself a niche in a video game marketplace where giants dominate. 

a series of Nintendo DS games

The Mobile Gaming Expo 

March 26-27, 2018 at NC State.

The was the very first public exhibition of the current collection of the Mobile Gaming Research Lab (MGRL). The MGRL worked to create an archeological collection of mobile games. Our goal was to develop a mobile gaming database where researchers can search for and retrieve information about mobile and location-based games. This first expo showcased a range of mobile gaming devices beginning in the late 80s to contemporary examples. In addition, we showed documentation of canonical mobile games, which emphasize the increasingly hybrid nature of mobile gameplay. With the initial showcase of our collection, we asked participants to consider the materiality of mobile media; specifically, the ways that mobile devices have changed to allow for different kinds of user-device interactions and experiences of urban spaces.