I played Flappy Bird for the first time last week and scored 14 points after a furious exercise of tapping. Two ladies on the R train were playing Candy Crush. I was playing Flappy Bird. I flapped. I died. I looked up. The ladies were still playing Candy Crush. They were also chatting about the game. How it is so addictive, but they love it. The sweet spot for mobile gaming is that elusive combination of challenge and pleasure. Candy Crush has it. Flappy Bird had it. It's a difficult game. But kind of zany fun. Folks have rejected food and water in the hopes of finding respite for Flappy Bird's flight. Alas, it keeps flapping. Then you hit a pipe. Blam. You're dead.
The rules are simple. You fly a round shaped bird creature between pairs of pipes without hitting anything. But then. Flap. You're dead. It's a subtle dexterity that can either spell "Game Over" or a successful pass through yet another Mario Brothers-esque pipe.
The game's creator Dong Nguyen pulled the app from the Android and iOS app stores. He wrote on Twitter that he cannot take it anymore.
People took umbrage. Riots in the streets! No, not really. But his decision did create a mini-quake on the Internet. Why shelve this massively addictive game? He was reported to be making $50,000 a day from advertisements. Rumors abound that he has had legal troubles, that he artificially generated customer reviews, and that his decision to pull the game was a brilliant marketing ploy. The resignation of Flappy Bird has spawned a quartet of successful imitations. If you want to it is possible to now flap a bird, or a bee, and there is even a Sesame Street version. Is the old adage true that imitation is the best form of flattery
Mr. Nguyen said on Twitter that the game ruined his simple life. It's the state of the Internet today. Fame brings unwanted attention. Success is one thing. Success is an admirable goal. Fame can be ugly. Mr. Nguyen probably doesn't want to deal with the incessant comments, questions, news reports, and interrogation. I am sure he has received thousands of questions like, "Will Flappy Bird improve my sex life?" and "What's your highest score?" For the record it's 250, but that is a rounded off number.
Is Mr. Nguyen now happy? Will he release a new game? Will he and the Flappy Bird empire catapult to new heights of fame and recognition? He's probably chillin'. Lickin' his wounds. It's enough to ruin a simple man. And there is a really cool meme that showcases Flappy Bird as art.
|Flappy Bird MMO|
Image Source: Kotaku