Because stuff needs talking about.

Archive for February, 2014

A (Flappy) Bird In the Hand…

Recently there’s been quite a lot of stuff going on; the most expensive and possibly most anti-homosexual Olympics has kicked off, Philip Seymour Hoffman has sadly departed this world, and, in the celebrity “news” section, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have split, causing a tidal wave of drool to circumnavigate the globe as Goslingites worldwide drift off into steamy daydreams.

Up there competing for valuable social media space though, and somewhat surprisingly I might add, is a rage inducing game with the addictive nature of heroin cut with pure Pringles extract. Yes it’s Flappy Bird; a largely simplistic yet inexplicably hard game where the player guides an incapable bird through a maze of varying, Mario-esque pipes with the objective being…to fly through an infinite number of pipes. It certainly seems that for the public to get hooked on a game, it has to be bird based and fucking impossible.

Another victim of bird rage.

Another victim of bird rage.


I’m happy to admit I’m a bit of a games nerd, I’ve played FIFA games for so long that the majority of real players have retired, and overdone it on Call of Duty to the point that a walk down the street often resulted in assessing objects for their camping opportunities. To cut a long, geeky story short, I expect to be pretty good at games in general, especially ones where the only input needed is to occasionally tap the screen. Surely, a game named ‘Flappy Bird’ where the key objective is, rather obviously, making a bird flap can’t provide much of a challenge to seasoned gamers?

It took me seven attempts to get through one gap, it took me another ten attempts to reach three. After twenty minutes I had managed six, and after another ten minutes it had been deleted after rage had filled my body and left me on the verge of reducing my phone, and it’s infuriatingly flappy contents, to pieces. It raises some issues too, other than how can a pixellated bird which has no ability to fly already be airborne, and also, what’s with all the pipes? No, what it really brings to light is that as a whole, the public is a massive glutton for punishment, on the basis that we can get a couple of ranty and relatable statuses out of it. We will happily put ourselves through the hardship of guiding a wholly dependent blob through a plumbing fiasco in a doomed attempt to complete an endless task, because we know we can get pissed off and vent it all over social networks and be safe in the knowledge that a load of other poor saps will be doing the same and like or share or whatever to show their agreement.
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Such is the annoyance level of this game even the creator has had enough and deleted it from the app store. Perhaps it was the relentless internet hate directed towards his avian invention, or simply the constant trips to the bank to deposit his bulging bags of money. Whatever it is, the bird is set to no longer be the word and the world has been freed from its addictive grip, ready to move on to another equally infuriating and tweet generating time-waster.

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NekNomination: Being a Lad Goes Viral

As you all have been made aware by a myriad of drunken and badly filmed videos cluttering up your Facebook news feed, a new social media craze has been doing the rounds. It is of course the online drinking game, NekNomination, where people try their best to concoct and imbibe alcoholic abominations in a bit to out-lad each other, and then NekNominate their friends to one-up their effort.

Alcohol + vest = LAD, apparently.

Alcohol + vest = LAD, apparently.


Despite the obvious glorification of booze culture, the irresponsible celebration of reckless alcohol mistreatment, and maybe worst of all the misspelling of neck to make the whole thing “cool” and edgy, my main gripe lies with the terrible promotion of lad culture across the world.

The new viral trend gives air time to those who actually value the ability to down a curdled blend of potent nastiness, an endearing trait you all must agree, in a bid to prove themselves as the next alpha male, and earn them valuable commendations in the form of Facebook likes to help them cement their position. This ability alone is obviously not enough to secure momentary, localised, internet fame though, oh no. The participant’s on screen presence is paramount to the video’s success. To ensure popularity and respect from the lad-osphere the whole video must be treated like their own private reality TV show, only like one of those hybrid reality shows where the people portray a character of themselves which they yearn to be in real life. Basically, each individual must try to be as much like a TOWIE or Geordie Shore pinnacle of manliness as possible, complete with shaved chest, terracotta fake tan, gel drenched quaffed hair, and of course the mandatory white vest and cap uniform.

What is most disappointing about the whole affair is that has been wholeheartedly accepted and enjoyed by an overwhelming number of the online community. The internet has the power to bring awareness to real, important matters, and try to bring about a change for good in an often unjust world. In this case though, the internet as a population has chosen to get behind testosterone-soaked shows of strength and celebrate wanton liver damage.

At least this guy from South Africa had the right idea and used his minute in the public eye to do something useful and worth commending rather than necking a pint with all manner of shit in it (including shit, it actually happened). Hopefully his will be the challenge accepted by others and the next internet craze will be a positive one.