Desert Golfing, a game you can purchase for your iOS or Android device, is perfectly designed for its environment. Right now, no other video game better harnesses the always-on-and-always-aimless nature of pocket computers. It’s a game full of goals, but those objectives originate from the player as much as the game’s creator.
If there’s one phrase I associate with smartphones, it’s “killing time”. I don’t know if there were fewer moments of boredom in the past, or if we only started to notice the five minute gaps in our day after everybody stopped smoking cigarettes, but since smartphones came around we’ve all gotten very good at filling in the temporal cracks. I don’t remember killing time as a child. I remember doing a whole lot of nothing, but I never felt like I was actively trying to fritter any moment away. That’s probably because I rarely had anywhere to be, so there was never space between appointments. It’s a lie to say that I did nothing as a kid, what I actually did was construct meaningless games in my head. My door became a dartboard, my dresser became a warzone, my backyard became a golf course. These games lacked time limits, and because they existed in my mind, I could visit them whenever I wanted, for as long as was available. Desert Golfing is like one of the imaginary games I played as a kid, except it puts my backyard inside my pocket.