Normally, when people think of mobile games they might think Candy Crush, Trivia Crack and Fortnite. However, an older mobile game has made an appearance at CHS: Clash of Clans, an online, multiplayer game for iPhone and Android devices. The game, also known as COC, incorporates strategy with a heavy reliance on other players.
Clash of Clans was initially launched seven years ago in 2012 by Supercell. Based on Google trends data, the game saw its last spike in popularity in December of 2015 before its decline in activity leading up to 2019. The resurgence of the game at Carrboro has led to a number students re-downloading the game from the App Store and hopping back in right where they left off.
“It’s kind of in itself a meme, and people recognize that…but I would say that for me, it’s been amazing to see how middle school, seventh and eighth grade, we played it, and now in twelvth grade picking it up again,” said Hank Hultman, a senior and regular player of Clash of Clans.
One of the most unique features of the game is the multiplayer system that is referred to as “clans.” Clans are essentially a community of people within the game. In order to join a clan, you must be accepted by the clan’s leaders. The clan is an important aspect of the game because it allows people to share resources such as troops, and members can even go to war together against other clans to receive resources and perks.
“It’s a great game,” said Noah Ross, senior. “It’s another way for us to connect outside of school.”
Currently at CHS, there are a number of clans that are made up almost entirely of students. Of the few clans at CHS, the largest one is called “Little G’s,” and is ranked as the 540,444 best clan in the world. Currently, Little G’s has the maximum amount of players, but if a spot were to open up, all you would need to do is talk to one of the clan Elders, such as senior Spenser Barry.
Barry is not only an Elder of the clan, but also the leader of the entire clan.
“It’s a popular game for two reasons: upgrading your base is fun to do. It’s progressive if you put in the time; you get a reward out of it. Secondly, the social aspect: lots of people at Carrboro play the game, and it’s a fun thing to connect over,” said Barry about the game’s newfound popularity.
Barry made it clear that the game is not about being glued to your phone screen; there are actually as many real world aspects of the game as there is virtual time.
“Most people in the clan go to Carrboro, everyone’s pretty active, I talk to my friends about it in real life a lot,” Barry added.
Although Barry plays COC often, he isn’t optimistic about the game’s survivability in future years.
“I don’t expect it to last for too long. Like all fun things in life, the more you do it, the less interesting it is,” he said.
Hultman, however, disagrees. For him, the value of the game is so important that he doesn’t see it going anywhere.
“For the seniors, it’s nostalgic, and it really is a community, which is one of the most fun and appealing aspects. It’s a place you can talk to your friends; it’s a support group,” Hultman said.
For Chis Egersdoerfer, another senior player in “Little G’s,” the game is all about the connections.
“The most important thing for me is talking to your friends and even people you don’t talk as much to,” Egersdoerfer mentioned.
Although the CHS Clash of Clans base is strong and increasing, there are some people who aren’t as crazy about the game, and see it in more of a negative light.
“I think that it’s taking up a lot of people’s time,” said Nick Datto, senior.
On the other side of the Clash of Clans debate, many believe that the game isn’t all it’s been built up to be. Some see it as too childish, too exclusive or too time-consuming.
“It’s very addicting,” said Sam Macy, senior. “I played it in seventh grade, and it was all I could think about.”
As modern technology becomes more prevalent, especially among teenagers, some think that “screen-time,” or the amount of time spent on electronics each day, is getting out of hand.
Some, like Datto, also believe that the game wastes time better spent with friends or family in person.
As CHS rebuilds its Clan, players may need to think about how much time they actually spend on the game.
But many players still believe, like Hultman or Barry, that the value of the resurgence of the game really is about the joy players get out of their clans, not just the time put in it. Who knows how long this trend will last, and what the next big game will become.