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Column: Flappy Anonymous

Hey guys. My name’s Azeem, and I used to be an addict.

A couple of weeks ago, my fiancée, presumably in an effort to show me her l33t gaming quotient, whipped out her phone and told me she was addicted to a game. I was about to point out that the Flipkart app isn’t a game when a pixelated bird appeared on the screen, along with a bunch of pipes that apparently hadn’t made the cut to the Super Mario Brothers series. I laughed dismissively at her as her stupid bird flapped haplessly between two pipes before dying with less animation than all of Manmohan Singh’s speeches combined. “My highest score is 12”, she said, as I snorted with further derision. “It isn’t that easy”, her protests continued, “…and I bet you can’t beat my score” A challenge! Accepted!

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All I can say to you is, don’t do it. Do something less dangerous. Shoot heroin, smoke crack, but don’t play Flappy Bird.

So I proceeded to the Play Store and downloaded this quaint game called Flappy Bird at 10 pm. What kind of a name was that anyway? More like FAPPY Bird, based on the number of people ejaculating while talking about it. I laughed for five minutes over that. Yes, I don’t have many friends. Finally, the bird appeared on my screen, and I began tapping it (that sounds wrong) until it died before the second pipe. My brow furrowed. This was clearly going to take some work. I’m not quite sure what happened over the next four hours, but by the end of it, my eyes were red, my hair was ruffled.

My room was littered with thrown pillows, a few broken lights and the carcass of the poor manservant who had come to give me a glass of water. I smiled manically as I stared at the pixelated number 35 on my screen. This continued for many nights. The pillows, the lights, the manservants. It was quite a pain hiring a new one every day, but that’s what Flappy Bird did to me. All I can say to you is, don’t do it. Do something less dangerous. Shoot heroin, smoke crack, but don’t play Flappy Bird.

You can’t now, anyway, because it’s been taken off the Play Store. The game’s creator, Dong Nguyen (I will ignore the fact that his name his Dong), presumably started feeling a bit like Walter White after a point, and after a few run-ins with the DEA and Anna Gunn, decided he was done with ruining lives. A strange decision considering that he was raking in about as much as Walter White himself, a cool $50,000 a day. But he gave it all up. For the good of mankind. Somewhere, even Mother Teresa went, “The f*ck wrong with you, fool?” in between blessing kids with rectal cancer.

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People began listing phones with Flappy Bird online for $40,000, to which xda-developers.com replied with a “LOL bro, do you even APK?”

But just like that, the world’s biggest addiction since cat videos was gone, and the inevitable fallout followed. The projects of Baltimore, I imagine, were flooded with black marketers (pun not intended), offering a quick fix of the bird. It would be hilarious if that actually happened. Brothers on street corners going “Got that Flappy, yo. Got that Fla….DAMN CHANTELLE, SHUT THAT SHIT DOWN! FIVE-OH BE COMIN’!” This makes a lot more sense if you’ve ever watched The Wire. But it’s hardly a hyperbole when you consider that people began listing phones with Flappy Bird online for $40,000, to which xda-developers.com replied with a “LOL bro, do you even APK?”

If you’re still addicted, don’t worry. It’s inevitable that EA will buy over the Flappy Bird franchise and rebrand it as NEED FOR FLAPPY BIRD with in-game purchases to make your bird more flappy. Let’s be honest; that’s the only way they can actually get people to play any titles that have the word “Need” in them. Until that happens, though, I’m selling my Nexus 5 with limited edition Flappy Bird, and free Flappy Bird wallpaper. Rupees 2,00,000 only. Cash only.

azeemAzeem Banatwalla is a writer and stand-up comedian. He spends bewildering amounts of time and money adding things with fans and blue lights to his gaming rig, refusing to play any game below the maximum visual spec. He’s a PC gaming snob, but he does occasionally miss playing old-school Sonic on his Sega Mega Drive 2. Views expressed are Azeem’s own and do not reflect those of IVG’s editorial staff.

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