Cell phones in video games are not uncommon or new. Since cell phones became an affordable part of everyday life, our favorite characters in games have used the mobile technology to speak to others. It replaces the magical practice of telepathy with something more tangible and understandable. Usually, the characters use some kind of prepaid cell phone that is easy to dispose of or replace. Through the use of real-world technology to progress the story, video games keep one foot in reality and one foot in fantasy.

Anyone can use a cell phone to call a friend, so video games have to add something special to make it interesting. And boy, do they succeed! We found five uses of cell phones in video games that make us wish we could do the same in the real world. We also include our favorite examples of these games for you to check out.



5. Be Told What to Do   Infamous Series

Sure, many people don't like being told what to do, but there are times when you don't know what you're doing with your life. Maybe you're dealing with some kind of existential crisis, or maybe you just forgot what you meant to buy at the grocery store. At those times in video games, your phone rings, answers itself and tells you what to do.

Sometimes, this can get annoying. If you were stuck in traffic, your best friend constantly reminding you to meet him at the loft would start to get on your nerves. Also, for some reason, whenever your friends call to offer guidance, you can't give personal answers: You either give the same responses every time, or they hang up before you can say anything.

We think that the life guidance fully justifies a few minor annoyances. After all, how often do you get a call with instructions for how to save the world?

4. Find Treasure   "Far Cry 3"

Every smartphone has built-in GPS to guide you to your next location, but how many phones show you where people keep their cash and prized possessions? In "Far Cry 3," you can buy treasure maps, usually leading you to someone's home, where you'll open a chest for a small amount of cash and some kind of sellable item.

Oddly, these treasure maps sync to your phone, and since the screen displays a mini map, we can only assume that you are using a type of Google Glasses headset. Unfortunately, the GPS app in "Far Cry 3" has trouble distinguishing roads from mountains, rivers and caves.

3. Get Help From a Friend   Saints Row Series

Maybe you don't like pulling weeds or cleaning your house. Wouldn't it be nice to call a friend to come over to your house within three seconds to help with whatever you're doing? And best of all, you wouldn't even have to pay them after they finish. They'd just run away after saying goodbye.

In "Saints Row IV," you call your friends to assist you with getting out of sticky situations, and they offer some super-powered backup within seconds. In the real world, we hope you'll never need backup to shoot your way out of a surrounded warehouse. However, you might need a buddy to help you move an old couch out of your apartment or taste a new recipe you want to bring to a work party. These thankless friends who show up in seconds would make all of our lives better. Unless, of course, you were the thankless friend answering these calls.

2. Cheat Codes!   Grand Theft Auto Series

You know that moment when you're sitting in your living room and you have that too familiar epiphany: "I need a tank." There are times when we need a tank, and in the Grand Theft Auto series, players have discovered a phone number to get a tank delivered to you instantly.

A tank isn't always practical, but there are plenty of other situations in which a telephone number cheat code is all we would need to make our lives better. Maybe you're at the gym and want some extra energy to finish your workout. Wouldn't it be great if you could dial a phone number and feel instantly refreshed? Maybe you're a few dollars short for all the things on that value menu you want to order. It'd be nice to make a quick call to have $50,000 instantly pumped into your wallet.

As long as you have to dial a phone number to get your cheat, it's not magic; it's a luxurious mobile service plan.

1. Hack the World   "Watch Dogs"

Ubisoft is finishing up its new open-world action game, "Watch Dogs." In this game, the anti-hero breaks into locations and security systems with his smartphone. Popular entertainment has taught us that you need some kind of high-powered computer and hours of code cracking to break through multi-layered encryptions. However, Aiden Pearce can control traffic lights and hijack security cameras by swiping his thumb across his phone's screen.

We don't believe that you would use this power to bring down society, but let's be honest: If you had a phone that could hack the world around you, you would use it to make your life a little better. Maybe you'd be sick of traffic, so you'd change all the lights ahead of you for smooth sailing. If a parking lot were too dark, you could hack the electric system to turn on all the nearby lights. The possibilities are endless.


After playing through a few video games with incredible smartphones, real-world cell phones can start to feel mundane. However, it's amazing to live in a world where all of humanity's knowledge is at our fingertips. And we use that technology to look at funny pictures of cats.

You might not get existential advice or tank-providing phone numbers, but you do have unprecedented freedom to pick the type of phone and plan you want. Your phone may not help you find treasure, but it's still an amazing piece of equipment that can do so much to make your life great.

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