A Candid Response to Flappy Bird Mania: “OMG, Flap THIS”

Man, all I can think of is "all your base are belong to us." It's so bad it's great.

Man, all I can think of is "all your base are belong to us." It's so bad it's great.

Flappy Bird sucks.

It’s a bad game. I’ve tried it. It’s bad. And yet, the very same game has exploded all over the Internet. People are placing high score bets, executives are taking long lunch breaks, and there’s a sudden epidemic of busted phones. Just the other day, there was a line out the door at my local Verizon store, each person holding a smashed smartphone and crying. “Flappy Bird turned me into an animal,” they all sobbed.

Okay, so the last bit is a lie but I can picture it. So can you.

Games that suck are fascinating…to a point

They’re all the more fascinating today because in truth, we’re no longer used to seeing trash. The industry is huge now; just about every new title goes through a QA process, and while there’s plenty of mediocrity, junk that’s borderline comical is rare. It’s not like the old days, when there was no such rigid QA process and those Japanese-to-English translations were hilarious. Yep, “all your base are belong to us” is known by all now.

So, if you really think about it, the success of Flappy Bird isn’t too surprising. We’re all drawn in by something so bad we can’t believe it exists. Furthermore, if that product is a game and it’s prohibitively difficult (due in no small part to the fact that it sucks), we’re all the more entranced. Why? Because a part of us is saying, “Wow, this game is crap but I can still do it!” It’s a sick little twist of the mind, really.

Don’t get hooked ’cause it can be dangerous to your health… and your smartphone

We’ve got a great editorial on GameSkinny about how and why Flappy Bird is so addictive. It makes a lot of sense and there’s plenty of science behind the theory. The problem is that because it’s unique, because we’re essentially receiving a twisted form of entertainment, I think we’ll all react to it in different ways. Some of us will just throw the smartphone out the window. Others will buckle down and, in a blind, seething, yet strangely controlled rage, try to do the impossible.

The latter part is what, quite frankly, scares me. I don’t want to hear about Flappy Bird causing seemingly random acts of violence. That might seem funny on the surface but you know, it’s not.

I don’t let it happen to me, though. I just go, “Oh well, this blows,” and move on. No getting caught up in the hysteria for me, thanks. Still, seeing others get caught up in it is great entertainment. Just don’t lash out ’cause Flappy Bird can’t fly.

About the author


A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.