Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Real Reason We Hate Flappy Bird


The internet is a wonderful invention that allows us the ability to instantly communicate with other humans across the globe. It's given rise to collaborative efforts never before possible, inspired inventions that will change the course of history, and is one of the few places regular people can make something of themselves. But it's not all Bitcoins and cat videos; the internet can also serve to concentrate the hatred of millions. 

Dong Nguyen is responsible for a little iOS game called Flappy Bird. Free to download, it's an extraordinarily simple game, and does absolutely nothing new. For one reason or another, it went viral, and is seeing millions of downloads per day, bringing in $50k a day in ad revenue and a virulent vortex of hated from the very people that can't stop playing it.

Flappy Bird a simple game of survival wherein the player is tasked with keeping a little yellow bird in the air by repeatedly tapping the screen while avoiding pipes ripped straight from Super Mario World. Sure, Flappy Bird may play slightly differently than all of these other titles but it's not a good game. It can really only be credited with a highly marketable aesthetic and solid controls. What it does brilliantly is manipulate on our simple ape brains into playing it over and over and over and over...

People will justify their shit-spewing by claiming the game is a shameless clone that ripped assets from Mario, all while forgetting the game is free. Nobody's forcing us to play, but we gamers are one of the most entitled groups to grace the web, and we've no problem gratuitously goading developers through every digital means available.  We've seen what it did to Phil Fish, and now Nguyen has announced he's going to take the game down in less than 24 hours. The snowball has run him over and is heading for a cliff.

We should be ashamed of ourselves. We can dress it up any way we'd like, but the real reason we hate Flappy Bird is the same reason we hate lottery winners. We say they don't "deserve" the success, but we'd trade places with them in an instant. We hate that we didn't think of it first.

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