For sociology senior Jessica Hall, Flappy Bird began as a mere distraction.
Tapping a bird to send it through a series of pipes goes quickly, she thought. She could play a few games here and there every once and a while and finish up whenever she wanted.
But Flappy Bird was harder than she imagined. She rejoiced when she was the reigning Flappy Bird champion among her friends. She was distraught when someone she knew got a 64 and overtook her score.
Before she knew it, she was a little obsessed.
“It ruins lives,” Hall said. “I always have to beat my friends’ high scores.”
The distraction-turned-addiction for many students and smartphone users everywhere could be in danger after a decision from Flappy Bird’s creator to pull the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Flappy Bird was removed during the height of its popularity and was the most popular free mobile game on the Apple App Store and Google Play store. The game initially was released in May 2013, but did not gain traction until January of this year.
Flappy Bird recently was making an estimated $50,000 per day in advertising revenue.
Vietnamese game maker and creator Nguyen Ha Dong recently told his Twitter followers the game’s newfound popularity “ruins my simple life.”
He gave Flappy Bird fans a 22-hour warning before he removed the game from iOS and Android app stores. Individuals who already downloaded the game are still able to use the app.
Since then, Flappy Bird has become even more popular.
Androids and iPhones with the app are now being sold on eBay, with some reaching bids of several thousand dollars.
Many MSU students still are finding themselves playing the simple, yet addicting, game.
Journalism sophomore Shane Stockwell said Flappy Bird is his go-to game whenever he is bored.
He said the game takes a hit at his self-confidence.
“It pisses me off,” Stockwell said. “If I don’t beat my previous score I feel like a failure. The game is frustrating and it makes people mad, but I can’t quit if I don’t beat my score.”
Supply chain management sophomore Sara Mulders was challenged to play Flappy Bird by her boyfriend and has been hooked ever since.
“It’s so hard and I’m so bad at it,” Mulders said. “I just want to do well, and it’s frustrating.”
Hall said she would subconsciously be relieved if the game was deleted for good.
“There will be a new app to obsess over by then,” she said.