Rethinking Play and Games- Micro essay #2 wk2

Allison Figueroa Rojas

Prof. Carolny Jong

April 10, 2015

After playing Flappy Bird and reading Mattie Brice’s, “Our Flappy Dystopia.” the general idea was that this game was considered a “rip off”  and “billed as theft” from Super Mario Bros. after receiving grand popularity and of course money, thus the game had to be taken off from the app store. Along with much critique from media sources towards gamer creator Dong Nguyen was bullied by capitalist companies that have the means to do so and as new comer, non-white male with a new game that is booming they ask themselves “but how?!, he copied our ideas and  is profiting!” Now its seems that every new game is rip off and up and coming game developers have to almost walk on egg shells not to be called out by bigger names. Yet most forget that almost every game out there, i mean i would not consider myself a “gamer” but from my experiences and from what this course has tSuper_Mario_Bros_1985aught me, everything is borrowed at some point, inspiration is taken and new ideas grow from there, and it almost makes you want to say “so what?” Not to disregard the immense amount of time, work and skill its takes to create a game (even though Flappy Bird was made in 3 days) but anyhow most things are recycled so for Nintendo Super Mario Bros. that has been a business platform since 1985, it is not hard to say that though “Flappy bird” does have similar green pipes as their competitor there is a bigger issue underlining this situation. I mean one could also say “Angry Birds” by Rovio Entertainment also shares similar aesthetics qualities,  although they have Flappy-Birdtheir own issues with leaked  information that had a tracking software that generated a personal record for each user that would store information from their political affiliation and sexual orientation to their marital state, now that’s creepy but the bigger and underlining issue here is money. Even though Flappy Bird is coming back to the app store ’bigger and better ” and by that i mean with merchandise. This notion that due to its quick popularity and financial growth the threat clearly displayed itself even though the green pipes situation seems like a minor cover up to the taboo issue of money hungry companies and as Brice puts it, “Why mainstream spaces have a tight lid on these issues is simple: they would be at the very center of critique. There is something unspoken, that of COURSE we’re all run by money. But to say it out loud is taboo, and it’s seen as rudely airing someone’s dirty laundry.” Thus this concept that individuals in the business of games are valued by “their monetary values” does have an affect on the success and failure of a minority developers “It says who gets listened to, who gets noticed, and who is valued.” As mentioned earlier Flappy Bird didn’t get wiped off the game board  so clearly something in the right track is happening to the notion of who can succeed in the industry.

Works Cited:

Brice, Mattie. “Our Flappy Dystopia.” Alternate Ending. 10 February 2014.

Flappy Bird (Nguyen Ha Dong [Dong Nguyen] 2013)


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