The Curious Case of Flappy Bird

flappy bird screenshotThe recent fad of Flappy Bird, and its removal by the independent game creator, has raised some significant angst. Why has such a simple, low budget video game enraptured people so much that they consume hours of their day trying to beat their high score, like a movie buff with a limitless supply of popcorn? If you have not experienced its addictive power, this homage to Flappy Bird can give you a sense of its power. (It certainly made writing this post take longer than it should have.) Continue reading “The Curious Case of Flappy Bird”

Rules, Rules, Rules

game image

Most nights, my family plays one of a variety of table games during supper. So it makes sense (as I construct a coherent personal narrative) that we have begun thinking about play and looking at Game Theory, including a classic piece from Roger Caillois in Man, Play, and Games (originally published in 1958, English translation 1961) where he asserts

Rules themselves create fictions. The one who plays chess, prisoner’s base, polo, or baccara, by the very fact of complying with their respective rules, is separated from real life where there is no activity that literally corresponds to any of these games.  Continue reading “Rules, Rules, Rules”