I heard the buzz and snagged it and played for the best part of an hour on a cross-Canada flight, never managed to get past level 10. The fact that the game is so addictive despite being so pathetically lame is trying to teach everyone a great big honking lesson.

Pathetically lame? · Well yeah, the graphics. And the birds. And the stupid extreme difficulty; with just a little bit of tuning (thinner pipes, bigger gaps) it could be a whole lot more playable.

And the lesson is? · Never be boring. When your bird goes phut! and you’re done swearing, it takes two taps and maybe three seconds before the pathetic little 8-bit avian goober is back in flight. No “Loading...” screens. No interstitials. No invitations to Share and Like and Tweet and so on. Just tap and your bird goes flap. Every game product manager in the universe should be tossing and turning trying to figure out how to squeeze their stop/restart cycle down to something like Flappy Bird’s.

Thanks Mr Nguyen · You’ve taught the world a valuable lesson, made a few airpline flights and other dead times a little less dead, and taken home a bunch of money. Seems fair to me.


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From: John Cowan (Feb 11 2014, at 07:02)

Well, yes, that's the precise mechanism of addiction: a quick relief of anxiety, followed by a sharp rise as the drug wears off. Cocaine works exactly this way.

The trouble with it, commercially, is that drug addicts depend on a continuing supply, and addictive software doesn't. He should have made you pay again every day, not too much, just enough to cover the NPV of whatever the game costs.


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