Flappy Birds is an obvious phenomenon when discussing the topic of addictive difficult games; wherever you’d go during this phase, you would witness the public glued on their screen of their smartphone with a 8/10 chance that they were on this ridiculous app.
It’s no secret to the media that developer Dong Nguyen has created his “sequel” to the frustrating-to-near-impossible smartphone game, this time named ‘Swing Copters’.
The game mimics the difficulty of Flappy Bird and amplifies it to the level where you just don’t have the energy to input any more effort into the game – at least that was my case! Instead of tapping to elevate your character up/down as in Flappy Bird, this time Swing Copters takes on the approach of raising vertically. You tap the screen to start, where your character raises itself with its propeller hat; at the same time your character will automatically shift left and rise upwards at the same time, in order to avoid the obstacles at the side, you must tap again to continue raising upwards but now shifting to the right and not the left. It sounds easy enough? Of course the outcome isn’t though.
The catch is that the automatic shifting of left/right is instantaneous, that there isn’t enough time to alter your control. The game also doesn’t have an easy manual, which amplifies the difficulty so much more if you don’t ask someone how the mechanics of the game works. So Dong Nguyen created this game, despite being upset about the reaction of Flappy Birds, only to create an almost carbon-copy mechanic of the game, just with slight variations. It’s only been released for two days, and I’m sure that the fan reception is still to come. But when it does, my question I’m sure to ask everyone playing it is “why do you actually play this game?”
When I play a video game, I play it out of enjoyment and thrill. I enjoy wondering around different worlds, solving puzzles, jumping around or shooting enemies. Granted, mobile games have a different style than what these console/PC games I’ve described can offer. I rarely play mobile games anymore. I find there to be no use to just play (what can very well be) complex and engaging puzzles just to pass the time when sitting in a train or such. Actually instead I’ve been pushing myself to stay very well away from using my technological products when out in the public so that way I embrace life more. Even so, when people do play many mobile games, they do gain a sense of satisfaction and comfort in playing these games. However games such as Flappy Bird and Swing Copter are different; the reaction I see is more grunts, screams and shouts of anger, and in a few cases – people actually breaking down in tears.
So what is the source of this addiction? It certainly isn’t the comfort which I discussed about earlier, but it does somehow link to satisfaction. As a standard consumer watches other peers downloading a game and playing it, they’ll become compelled to do the same. Once they do so, they will ask “what’s your high score?” and from that moment on a war is ignited with the rest of society until you can raise you score to the highest bar possible – which is quite the impossible task! These people mainly aren’t addicted because they enjoy it, but rather the competitive instincts in us as human beings cause this addiction to occur.
One can only hope that Swing Copters doesn’t receive the high media attention which Flappy Birds once received (yes, I know I’m contradicting myself by posting this article, but mine is bringing negative press), and instead leaves the ludicrous app to just fade away – as that way, no one will be compelled to become addicted to it!
Do you have another theory / thoughts on the addiction to impossible games? Share your thoughts in the comments!