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Flappy Bird – A Tale of Internet Woe

If anyone ever comes to you and asks for proof that the internet is both a powerful and strange place,  you can now deliver one simple answer — Flappy Bird.

Our story begins way back in May of 2013, when a small free to play game going by the name of Flappy Bird. In May, no one had heard of the game, no games journalists reviewed that game. It just simple started to exist.

Then sometime in late December, the game started to go viral, slowly but surely gaining popularity by word of mouth. By last week it sat on the Top 10 list’s for free games in both the iOS and Andriod marketplaces and getting reviewed by outlets like IGN and Digital Spy. All this while the game wasn’t actually being talked about in a very positive light. Its Metacritic score is only a 54, with an even lower user score of 4.6.

As it’s odd rise to free to play fame peaked, Flappy Bird’s developer, Dong Nguyen, took to Twitter on Sunday, quite out of the blue, saying “I’m sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users,  22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.”. What exactly Nguyen cannot take is still not completely clear from what I’ve read, though he did say in a later tweet that legal issues (which were considered possible due to the games obvious use of Mario-like art) did not play a role in the decision. It may be due to the overall lukewarm response from both critics and fans? Who knows! Regardless, Nguyen was true to his word, and as of now, you can now longer download the Flappy Bird app on any device. The whole thing is insane if you ask me.


And now in the final leg of our journey, on Monday, 2.10.14, devices that already had Flappy Bird installed began to appear on eBay. That’s right, people were selling their Flappy Bird enabled devices… And people were actually buying them! One listing this morning had a $94,000 bid before the listing suddenly disappeared. Reports yesterday had a device selling for upwards of $15,000. Again, insanity.

So all in all Flappy bird will forever leave its small mark on the behemoth that is the internet. The story is one that will be told for days, maybe even weeks to come. And in time as it’s relative to the internet, that may as well be a generations.


About Trey Elliott

Trey Elliott
Trey is a video game enthusiast, movie junkie, and cultivator of one fantastic beard. He loves to write original Gregorian chants, play the spoon harp, and speak of whatever comes to mind on the Free For All podcast.