There’s an app for that: Connecting with others via virtual gaming

(Emily Davis/Flickr Creative Commons)

(Emily Davis/Flickr Creative Commons)

Miitomo - Free

Love the Nintendo DS? Love Tomodachi Life? Don’t love that it costs $50 to play? Well thanks to Miitomo, you can have all the fun of customizing avatars and chatting with your friends for the low price of $0.

While Miitomo was only launched less than six months ago, it has amassed over ten million downloads since, and is available for iOs and Android.

Miitomo is a social network app that allows users to customize avatars, play minigames and chat with friends. You can even add friends to Miitomo by linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts to see who else is playing.

By performing various actions in the game, you can earn you points. The more points you earn, the more outfits you can buy to make your avatar as fashionable or funky as you’d like.  

Some claim the app is guilty of data mining: questions you can answer for points like “what’s your favorite food?” and “what are you saving up for?” could be seen as invasive. However, it is a free app and Miitomo’s privacy policy states the data is not personally identifiable and is used primarily for analytics. Plus, all of the questions are strictly voluntary.

Overall, Miitomo is a cute, fun and interactive way to connect with your friends and customize your ideal persona.

Paper Planes – Free

Speaking of connecting with friends, what about connecting with complete strangers?

While only available for Android phones at the moment, this innovative app allows users to create virtual paper planes that can be “thrown” across the globe. By turning the phone sideways, you can lob your plane out into the interweb. Though the app makes sure to warn users not to literally throw their phone. When you make a paper plane, a stamp is then placed on the plane that states your location. After that, it’s released into the big wide world.

The user then has the option to catch other paper planes with a virtual net, and see where they originally came from. So while you could send out planes from Storrs, Conn., you could potential receive ones from Houston, Texas to Seoul, South Korea.

While there is no end goal or way to earn points in the game, Paper Planes is just an interactive app that connects people together from all over the world in a unique way.

After a recent update, the app now utilizes GPS data for more accurate location information.

For a game that was only released earlier this month, Paper Planes has a lot of potential to become a fun way to connect with people from all over the world without even having to leave your zip code. 

Anna Marini is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus at the Waterbury campus. She can be reached via email at