Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Got a Moment?

If you do and you have an iPhone or i-Screen, there’s a good chance you might be sneaking in a game of Angry Birds. This deceptively simple game has stormed the iPhone app charts, with millions of copies sold since it went on sale last year, and counts the likes of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and author Salman Rushdie among its player base.

So what’s the appeal? The concept is simple enough. Cute but clearly grumpy birds load themselves into a slingshot, and you fling them across the screen to wipe out a bunch of green pigs who are guilty of using the birds’ eggs for a fry-up. You get points for every pig you pop, and once they’re all gone you move through to the next level. Fans say it’s hopelessly addictive.

Last year the Wall Street Journal suggested that one part of the charm of games like Angry Birds is that they’re designed to be played in short bursts. They’re easy to get into and are a great way to snatch a moment of fun in the middle of a demanding schedule. A 2008 study found these kinds of “casual games” were most often played while people were waiting for an appointment, and appeared to contribute to a measurable drop in stress levels.

The Age of Now strikes again. Through ubiquity of technology and screenery, fuelled by creativity, every minute can get a shot of fun.


Susan P. said...

I've never played the game but it's now being made into a television reality style show. Could be interesting.

chris simon said...

In the heart of app games making Malaysia and ‘got a moment’ to read your blog. AB is Finland based Rovio Mobile’s star. They’ve also got Bad Piggy Bank for Android which allows players carrier billing and all purchases in the app and not PayPal or CC. The secret here is that ad free Angry Birds are bundled with the app and players of all age groups are getting real bored with slow and faulty settings across traditional PayPal or credit card. The other secret, of course, is not so much short burst game play, but faster than fast download, tiny file size and multi-platform. No matter how great the physics-based puzzle game play or writing is, what goes up must download instantly and Rovio (and a few others) are masters of that particular game.