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Flappy Bird Has Gone Extinct (Almost)

By Shannon Koga

If you’ve ever had a smartphone, there’s a good chance you’ve been addicted to some app, game, or website. Don’t panic. Everyone can get addicted to something, and in today’s age, that something is a mindless (possibly endless) game involving a flying cartoon bird.

But some people are so addicted they’re willing to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for this game.

It all started on May 24th, when Dong Nguyen, game developer, released Flappy Bird for public consumption. At first glance, the 2D graphics and green pipes may resemble Mario, and the bird gimmick could be an attractive coo thanks to Angry Birds. But what is it about such a simply crafted game that holds so much appeal?

Well, I borrowed a smartphone to try it out, and well, Flappy Bird is the devil. The bird has to maneuver so quickly through these pipes, and his wingbeats only provide a certain amount of soar time. Before you know it, that bird is dead, and you’re repeatedly pressing “play again.”

It’s easy to understand how it made close to $50,000 dollars a day.

So what happened February 9th that got Flappy Bird taken off the shelves? Apparently, Nguyen stated in an interview, “Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed. But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”

Sadly, it’s hard not to argue with that. We live in a society where wasted time is filled with even more wasted time. A cartoon bird splatting against pipes is one adrenaline rush the world will have to do without.

But in Redding alone, there are multiple CraigsList listings where people are selling their Flappy Bird-infested smartphones for prices up to $6,000 dollars. The most expensive phone with this app was reportedly sold for about $15,000.

To get some perspective on this phenomenon, I asked a few Shasta College students what kind of apps they would die without.

So there you have it. College students and people alike need their technology. Eventually, however, someone must draw the line.

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