I'm a reformed gamer, but I'm old enough to know what terms like OGL and CAL-I mean, as far as competitive gaming is concerned. I can't even tell you how many times I was interrupted from some critical point in World of Warcraft or Portal because some insensitive person sent me an IM or Skype request and it caused my game to minimize. Back in the day, we didn't have liquid cooled gaming rigs with flux capacitors and other things that appear as sorcery to my aged eyes; I knew that if my machine minimized to the desktop, I was 2 minutes out from maximizing the game. The raid was going to wipe for sure now with their tank just standing there.
ROCCAT Studios is building a solution to this and more: ROCCAT Power-Grid. It's free software that interfaces with your mobile device and routes texts, calls, and PC commands and stats to interface that you can take in at-a-glance, so you don't have to take attention away from farming Elementals before the Battleground opens.
You can also view PC stats like CPU usage through the Grid application, and have control over your PC and phone sounds. The PC stats are especially useful for gamers, as overheating risks are highest with a game running. You could catch it early before a BSoD or worse.
If you think this is awesome enough, just wait. The Power-Grid Launcher program lets you customize the layout and setup macro's and icons, controls from individual games or more important things -- say, a timer for when to go open the door for the pizza guy.
There's one catch: it's coming out for the iPhone and iPod Touch initially, and there's no word on when it'll be ready for Android and Windows Mobile. If you have an iPhone (and who doesn't, these days?) though, with Power-Grid and the companion PC software, you're on your way to completely immersive gaming, the way nature intended. You can sign up for the Power-Grid beta at ROCCAT's website.
On the flip side of the coin, do gamers really need a method to be even more absorbed into their electronic sword and sorcery? Is bridging a pair of today's heaviest addictions, smartphones and gaming, an idea that is promising for our youth? With a command interface to route all outside input (sans Mom breaking the door down to your room) to something easily ignored, this might finally be the gateway to real starvation for the youth of the gaming generation.
Gods help them.
In an act of full disclosure, it's important to note that Jason doesn't have an iPhone, though he's jealous of something like this being made for something he doesn't own. Will it change his mind? You can keep up with him on Twitter and Google+.