‘Flappy Bird’: addictive and frustrating for KSU students

Screenshot courtesy of .GEARS Studio

Screenshot courtesy of .GEARS Studio

Rachel Gill

Playing the new addictive app, “Flappy Bird” seems to be causing more rage than enjoyment to students who play the game.  Yet, it became the No. 1 free app in Google Play’s app store as well as Apple’s App store in less than a week.  

However, the popularity of this game has been short-lived.  A tweet from Dong Nyugen on Feb. 8 announced he would be taking down the game.  

Nyugen tweeted: “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”

Flappy Bird features old school Nintendo-like graphics and no real mission, other than to get the highest possible score you can.  

The app was created by the Vietnamese independent developer with studio .GEARS. Nguyen developed the app to not be similar to other games out today.  Many apps available on mobile devices feature in-depth graphics and complex achievement goals.  

Flappy Bird has been downloaded by more than 50 million users worldwide and is generating more than $50,000 per day for Nguyen.

In it, you are controlling a  bird.  Tap the screen and the bird flaps its wings and flies into the air.  You must navigate your way through a world of pipes it lives in and guide the bird in between them. If you fail to tap the screen, the bird either falls to the ground or hits one of the pipes and dies, and you must start over again.  There are no second chances.

Although the game is simple and the objective is direct, if you do not have perfect timing, the game becomes a frustrating nightmare for students.  

“I can’t even get past level 10,” said sophomore exploratory major Jennifer Ryan.  “I sit in class for hours and play and can’t beat my high score, but I keep on playing anyway.”

However, this frustration seems to be the motivation behind why students continue to play.  Every time they die, the need to redeem themselves takes over and they play again just to beat the next high score.  

“I had to get a new phone last week because I threw mine against the wall from playing this game,” said freshman exploratory major David Kubancik.

In the couple weeks where the app’s success flew off the charts, millions of students have downloaded and spent hours of class time dedicated to achieving a higher score on this game.

Now with the takedown of this popular game, many students had the fear they would not be able to play anymore. But, if the app was installed on your phone before the take down, you will still be able to play the game.

Thousands of phones have appeared for sale on eBay with prices reaching as much as $13,000.  

Since the game has vanished from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, many clone apps have arisen.  

The website, Elance, has posted listings for game developers to create apps similar to Flappy Bird to become available in the app stores.  

Clone games such as Fly Birdie, Flappy Bee, Flappy Plane and Ironpants are already rising in popularity.

However, it seems none are quite as frustrating as the original Flappy Bird was.

Contact Rachel Gill at [email protected].