'Flappy Bird' creator driven to madness by his game, much like the rest of us

‘Flappy Bird’ creator driven to madness by his game, much like the rest of us

Feb 11, 2014

Somewhere between Frankenstein and the American Dream lies the story of a Vietnamese programmer named Nguyen Ha Dong. Dicking around alone he developed and put “Flappy Bird” on Apple’s and Google’s phonestuff marketplaces.

Dumb and minimalist to the point of irritation, the game has a bit of the kind of frustrating charm that a Rothko painting does. You tap your screen and hope this derpy bird doesn’t plummet to the earth like a comet or barely graze the corner of an obstacle, or its over. You hate the bird, you hate his ridiculous puffy lips, you hate the seemingly arbitrary boundaries of what the bird can touch, you hate that you downloaded this 16-bit game just because it was trending.

Nguyen will, he says, relieve those of you who aren’t already obsessed with keeping that leaden bird afloat. The unexpected success of his minimalist app has been more of a burden than a blessing. Accusations that the game is only successful because of download-tampering and the bevy of attention have put Nguyen in the peculiar position of being regretfully famous.

Nguyen announced on Monday that he intends to remove ‘Flappy Bird’ from the App Store and Google Play, so download it now if you’re feeling masochistic. At time of posting it remains on both, though any mention of the game has been stripped from the designer’s site. In today’s gaming world, ruled by microtransactions and relentless Facebook badgering, it seems almost sad to say farewell to a free game without a persistent barrage of ads.

Of course, that might just be the Stockholm Syndrome talking.

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