Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in current events, technology, WBFFA | Posted on 08-02-2014
It’s time for the Weekend Blog Free For All. It’s my chance to cut loose and write about something other than what I usually write about. Like Wagon Wheel similes. Or what the boys are doin’ ’round here. (By the way, I get writer bonus points for putting two apostrophes next to one another.)
Today, I’d like to discuss the Indie (that’s the word you use when you want to sound cool and don’t want to use the phrase “outta
no where”) phenomenon “Flappy Bird.” Don’t know what it is? It’s okay. But just say the words over and over. “Flappy Bird.” It sounds cool, doesn’t it? (Just don’t say them three times in front of a mirror or the real life Flappy Bird might appear.)
Anyway, it’s a game to download on your electronic device (for free) and play. It’s an easy game. tap the screen and make Flappy Bird fly through pipes. That’s it. You get a point each time ol’ Flappy makes his way through a pipe.
Yes, I said “he.” How do I know it’s a male? Because only a male would keep flying straight to a pointless destination without stopping for directions. (I should know.)
The game is rather addicting for a strange reason. It’s hard. It’s harder than it sounds. When you start flapping away, you run right into the pipes. A lot. And when you finally make it past the first pipe, you hit the second one. People spend days just trying to get to five pipes. I would love to see a workup of the amount of hours people have wasted playing Flappy Bird.
But the other day, my daughter Katie was playing and I was watching her. She has gotten 85 points as a high score. (I’m trying to get her a scholarship to Flappy Bird U.) I asked her, “What do you think Flappy Bird’s origin story is?”
I said, “You know. Batman’s parents were killed when he was young, so he has a serious need to fight crime. Superman came to earth after his planet was destroyed and he protects the planet. There has to be a motive for what Flappy Bird does, right?”
My oldest daughter, Abigail was in the room. She and Katie rolled their eyes at the same time. So immediately I knew it was time for me to come up with an origin story for Flappy Bird. And here it is.
Flappy Bird’s real name is George (according to Katie). He was born in a simple home in Loafer’s Glory, North Carolina with a very uneventful childhood. Like most young birds, he had access to an iPod and when Angry Birds was released, he downloaded it immediately.
He became obsessed with it. He played every level to perfection. He downloaded Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Seasons, and Angry Birds Star Wars. One Halloween, he even dressed up as the Orange Bird and did so in such a convincing manner that people started launching him from a slingshot into a neighboring farmer’s pig pen.
George got to thinking about this and blogged in his Monday Free For All post (his blog was called “Happy to be Flappy” but it’s been mysteriously taken down now), “I’d like to become an Angry Bird.” Someone commented, “There’s an open audition for Angry Birds not to far from you in Cuckoo, Virginia.”
It wasn’t too far, but George had always had trouble flying. He wasn’t the most graceful bird in the sky. In fact, he could get pretty
high, but when he lost his concentration, he would just crash to the ground. Sometimes, he would randomly strike objects and get a mild concussion. But he had a hard head and proceeded to the audition.
When he arrived, there were hundreds of talented birds there. When his chance came, the bird council asked him what he brought to the table. He stammered, “Well, I, uh….I can fly straight…and I can hit things pretty hard and get right back up.”
The council didn’t give him much thought. “Sorry kid, you’re not what we’re looking for.”
He flew away dejected. But then an idea occurred to him. He decided to break in to the Angry Birds game that they were currently working on. While they were shooting one of the acts, he snuck into the slingshot and propelled himself forward . . . and . . . faceplanted onto the ground.
The other birds were so angry that they reloaded him into the slingshot and told him, “We’re about to send you somewhere where you can never bother us again!”
He zoomed into oblivion. Days passed, night went by, the universe was spinning until he landed upon the cold ground. Ahead of him were pipes. Lots of them. What seemed like an infinite number.
All he wanted in that moment was to find the Angry Birds and face them to get his revenge. So he started flapping and flying. Running into pipes. And each time he did, he had to start over. He had found him self in an enchanted world of pipes. A never-ending world where sweet revenge was so far away.
But that’s what Flappy Bird is fighting for, my friends. Release. Freedom. And you are his only hope.
Then again, you could just be tapping a screen pointlessly and viewing ads in a game you won’t be playing in a week.
(Prediction: Coming soon, a study on concussions on birds in video games)
EDIT: Just when I finished writing this – and scheduled it to post – a new update popped up for Flappy Bird. The update promises “new birds.” Does this mean Flappy Bird now has a posse? Stay tuned….
EDIT #2: There are new birds. There’s a red bird. His power is running into pipes. There’s a blue bird. He runs into pipes like red bird and Flappy Bird. I was hoping these new birds could at least blast their way through metal pipes or something. Turns out they’re just Flappy Bird with a costume change. Even heroes need to change their clothes I guess.
Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infamous Wagon Wheel post or its sequel, my post about “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, my post about “Get Your Shine On”, what Christians should think about Justin Bieber, my poor attempt to start the unity selfie, or the one about “Boys ‘Round Here.”
When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.