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'Family Feud' calls to cell phone gamers

Take on competition with mobile game show

Industry experts say
Industry experts say "Family Feud" has advanced the cell phone gaming format but that more elaborate technology is around the corner.  

From Daniel Sieberg

(CNN) -- Video games have gone from virtually nothing to virtually real. Along the way, they have become a multibillion-dollar industry. Now, with more than half of Americans carrying cell phones, video games can be attached to your hip.

"Family Feud" is the first interactive game show made for cell phones. It's available through AT&T. Using a Web-enabled phone, players compete head-to-head with other players -- just like the old game show, only the host Richard Dawson isn't yelling "Survey says ...."

Part of the appeal is timing. If you've got 10 spare minutes on your lunch break, you can just pick up your cell phone and play.

CNN's Daniel Sieberg looks at 'Family Feud,' the first interactive game show made for cell phones.

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But even with this latest advance in cell phone gaming, Marc Saltzman, a consumer technology expert, believes the industry is just evolving beyond the Pong stage.

"We're really in the primitive stages of cell phone gaming -- very crude graphics, if any," Saltzman said."Most of the games are still text based ... like 'Trivial Pursuit' or the 'Price is Right.' Very text-based."

"Family Feud" may have advanced cell phone gaming from the level of Pong to maybe Donkey Kong, but game-makers must keep the graphics basic to accommodate the slow connection speeds currently available in the United States. But not for long.

"As color phones start coming into play and new operating systems, like Java and high-speed networks like 3G, these games are going to proliferate and mature," Saltzman said."They're going to get really, really cool."




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