Please flap responsibly

By The Beacon | February 13, 2014 1:39am

Cassie Sheridan |

I love an app sensation as much as the next iPhone-toting millennial or 13-year-old kid posting selfies on Instagram. I understood when Alec Baldwin was kicked off the plane for needing to play Words with Friends, I nodded solemnly while reading articles about Angry Birds Anonymous meetings and I had to delete Candy Crush off my phone after I realized I was talking about it with as much aggressive passion as Ted Cruz lamenting about Obamacare. It goes without saying that I, too, have played Flappy Bird.

After a mere couple rounds, I understood why the creator made the decision to no longer allow downloads of the game. I was so unbelievably angry and simultaneously embarrassed by a fat bird destroying my Thursday afternoon that I deleted the app. Then (20 minutes later) I downloaded it again.

“The bird is too big!”

“The pipes are too close together!”

“My finger is too fat!”

“The wings are literally impossibly small for this bird to fly properly!”

“The graphics are making me nostalgic for late 90s Mario Nintendo!”

These are all things I screamed in about the 20 minutes I played the devilish thing.  Luckily, I was able to close the app down, take a few deep breaths and walk away. As many flappers may know, the creator of Flappy Bird removed the game from the App Store Monday afternoon. This has led to a new kind of Flappy Bird hysteria. A hysteria that comes with a $900 price tag.

Yes, you read that correctly. People are already trying to sell their iPhones on Ebay for upwards of $900. A flapper that has tragically lost the game or never downloaded it can still gain access, but only if you have deep pockets. Ironically, Flappy Bird was free.

Now, this may all seem insane to the non-flappers. The individuals that never have tapped a screen maneuvering, never received a completely useless medallion for managing to make it through 10 pipes, or never screamed in frustration and chucked their iPhone across the room. However, these same people are now stuck paying $900 to play a game that everybody else got for free.  It’s a fairly brilliant marketing ploy: the second people can’t have something they seem to want it, so make Flappy Bird a non-option and people are going to start calling grandma for a $900 check. Someone let Warren Buffett know where he needs to put his money.

However, the hysteria came long before the download pull. The game was already making headlines for the incredible rage it was causing people. Pictures of smashed iPhones, screaming humans and a plethora of bird memes were plastered all over the Internet to celebrate the hatred/love/addiction to the newest app craze. Fake articles, highly believable, circulated about murders, divorces, broken friendships all resulting from a rotund bird incapable of flying properly. Equal parts hilarious and horrifying, primarily because the anger I personally experienced could probably break a weak friendship or two, and secondly because a fat bird causing divorces is inherently LOL.

Really, this is a sort of public service announcement for all the Flappers out there and potential Flappers, should you choose to splurge/win the lottery/call grandma. Please flap responsibly, if at all. Don’t let that frustrating little bird get the best of you. When the bird inevitably beak plants into the ground or into the tube, don’t throw your iPhone into the wall (it’s worth a lot of money now!). Apps are supposed to be fun, not lead you to criminal court. So let’s all flap and play responsibly while silently praying for something else to distract us so we can quit googling ‘how to decrease finger width.’

Also, if you are one of the lucky people who downloaded Flappy Bird before Flapper doomsday, I hope you make the financially savvy choice to sell it for substantial profit. Those gold “coins” aren’t going to finance your next adventure.

Cassie Sheridan is a junior political science and English major. She can be reached at