I bet I can make you furious within my next two words: “Flappy Bird.” If you know what that is, then you’re probably a little miffed right now. If you don’t, then thank your lucky stars you’ve avoided this latest game-plague.
For those in the latter category, “Flappy Bird” is a game that, up until Feb. 9, when its creator Dong Nguyen took it down due to recieving too much negative press, you could get at the iTunes app store. Essentially, it involves tapping your screen rapidly in an attempt to guide the eponymous bird (that looks like a piece of corn with Angelina Jolie’s lips and a pixelated cyclops eye) through a maze of pipes. If you don’t tap fast enough,
Flappy falls. If you send Flappy into a pipe, you “die,” and your score count stops. It’s so simple, yet so inexplicably addicting.
People lose sleep over this game. People lose friends over this game, if their high scores differ too much. So what’s the appeal?
Apparently, “Flappy Bird” kills boredom. “It was something to do to pass the time when I was bored in between classes,” said sophomore Arthur Sigmund.
Eventually, the app’s curative powers spread to social media—especially Twitter, where it drew an even bigger audience. Among these was freshman Durrell Fisher. “On Twitter people were complaining about it, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My roommates were playing it and telling me their high scores. So, being the competitor I am, I wanted to download it, beat it, and show them that it wasn’t as hard as it was.” He sighed and added, “It was exactly how hard they said it was.”
Freshman Todd Rogers met “Flappy Bird” under peer pressure. “Everyone on my hall was playing it. My roommate was playing it, and it was free. I heard so much about it, and I was bored one day, so I was like ‘You know what?’ So I downloaded it and started playing it.”
Once you start, can you stop? It depends. For Fisher, “Once I broke 150 [points], I was done. I’m retiring while I’m on top, even though I know there’s somebody out there with a higher score than mine. But I don’t want to know that. I’m done with it for life until somebody beats my high score. Then I’ll go back into the dark side.”
Sigmund agreed that “once you reach a ridiculous high score, you’re less inclined to actually play it.” However, “I don’t think I will give it up, especially since it’s been taken off the market.”
Flappy’s sudden vintage status also swayed Rogers, who said, “I’m going to have to keep the app on my phone for all of time because the guy took it off the app store, but I’m going to try not to play it too frequently.”
So what’s the moral of the story? If you play “Flappy Bird,” congratulations on your app-purchasing foresight and lack of boredom. If you don’t play “Flappy Bird,” don’t start, and definitely don’t purchase someone else’s phone just because it has the app. It got taken down for multiple reasons, but Fisher said, “I’m glad that nobody else has to deal with the stress that ‘Flappy Bird’ brings.” Take it from someone who knows.