An Un-Game!



Chris lives in Austin, TX, where he once shook Willie Nelson's hand.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    Slate grows ever worse and I never played the game, but I did enjoy this piece on Flappy Bird, in which he disagrees with your premise, calling FB a Platonic ideal of a game:

  2. Avatar Stillwater says:

    That’s a lot of cash to just walk away from, no? Maybe it became personal or something, death threats made against the guy by frantic jittery junkies looking for the fix, or folks watching loved ones spin violently out of control. If you posted this only a few days earlier, think of all the suffering you could have assuaged? The only way to win is to not play the game!

    It’s a weird story tho, for sure. I’m thinking maybe some well connected insurance agents wanted a piece of the pie to ensure nothing bad happened to him.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Stillwater says:

      Or, gaming is coming of age as an artform, and now it starts to get its JD Salingers and Jeff Mangums; people who just walk away for reasons that are opaque to the rest of us.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        My real theory is that this is a dude who liked a life in which he had time to come home from work and code an entire game for fun in his free time. Having a game this popular pretty much rules such a life out, at least until you hire enough people to do the work it entails for you.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Glyph says:

        people who just walk away for reasons that are opaque to the rest of us.

        That makes no sense Glyph. How can I theorize about his personality and motivations with that possibility lurking in the background? No, he’s a tragic figure, forced out of a lifestyle he loved by drugs and an addiction to living on the edge. Which finally caught up with him….Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Look, it makes no sense to me either. I’ve got as much personal integrity as Krusty the Clown.

        “They backed a dump truck full of money up to my house! I’m not made of stone!”Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Glyph says:

        Well, let’s see. 50k a day. OK. That’s not bad money. People have been playing it for, what?, 6 months? … 180 some odd days … times 50 … carry the two …. round down, of course ….

        Yup, that’s retirement, right there.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Glyph says:

        I have plenty of personal integrity.

        I would use the proceeds from this to make a vast empire of un-games that tortured all real gamers, laughing on my giant pile of money.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:


        What else did he need to code? I don’t know about apps but if the game exists as everyone said it did, was there anything for him to do?Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:

        What new levels did he need to add? etc.

        I like Glyph’s theory.Report

  3. Avatar Mo says:

    Nintendo never threatened or considered suing Nguyen. That was just something made up by the Kotaku 5 minute hate, that they later apologized for. That’s probably because he didn’t copy sprites and if everyone got sued for being inspired by elements of another game, then King and Zynga would just be a smoking crater.

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mo says:

      Yeah, I didn’t mean to imply that I put much stock in the rumor, just that a lot of people did, and that it was possible for there to be a rumor because the pipes are so obviously Mario pipes.Report

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Despite my city snobbery, I do have a fascination with what it would be like to live in such a far-flung place from time to timeReport

  5. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    My youngest daughter kept begging me to try this game and I never did. Now I feel like I missed some kind of weird blip on the pop-culture landscape that I wish I had been a part of.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I know what you mean. I feel like I hopped on and then promptly hopped off a train just before it derailed spectacularly. And I find the whole thing utterly bizarre.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris says:

        My daughter told me what the phones were going for on EBay, and since she had the un-game on hers I said, seriously, sell the damn thing. So she looked into it and realized that only IPhone 5s were going for big money, not the 4s like she had. Sigh.

        That, of course, was before EBay shut down the sales, the anti-capitalist bastards.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I asked my youngest about it this afternoon and she said there was a kid at school trying to charge kids $1 for 10 minutes of playing time on his phone. Gotta love his entrepreneurial spirit.Report