Thumbplay News

By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO for the Wall Street Journal
August 9, 2007

While running his education-related start-up, Ryan Thompson keeps up on his email by staying glued to his BlackBerry. Lately, the 29-year-old in Brooklyn, N.Y., has also been turning to the device to steer a kayak through rapids, perfect his poker playing or master Sudoku -- one of half a dozen mobile games he has installed on his hand-held.

"The games aren't flashy like PlayStation 2," says Mr. Thompson, who frequently plays until his thumbs ache and his palms sweat. "But they do the job."

BlackBerry users are already familiar with Brickbreaker, the brick-smashing game preloaded onto their devices. The game has earned a cult following among professionals obsessed with showing off their high scores. But users are discovering that there is life beyond this simple pastime as mobile-gaming companies develop a host of new titles for higher-end smart phones such as BlackBerrys and Treos -- a segment of the mobile industry experiencing red-hot growth.

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