Dear Mr. President, please bring back “Flappy Bird.”
On Feb. 13, a petition to revive the insanely popular mobile app appeared on the White House petition page. Alongside requests to “deport Justin Bieber” and “pardon Edward Snowden,” the petition creator, who identified himself as D.S., wrote the following:
Flappy Bird, also known as the devil's game and apocalypse, suffered an untimely death. The game has been described as causing suicidal thoughts and has caused the destruction of millions of mobile devices. People have lost their wives, children, homes and jobs.
So why bring back Flappy Bird, you ask?
Because it is an addiction like no other. I am fortunate enough to still be playing Satan's game. Every time I lose, my eyes burn like a thousand suns, but I'm happy that I can feel such tremendous emotion.
I want everyone to be able to experience such emotional magnitude.
Bring the power back to the people. Let them choose whether they want to spend every waking moment trying to get through those tubes of horror with this mangled and deformed bird.
No copycat can match this game.
The petition had amassed only a few signatures, unlike the request to “deport Justin Bieber,” which currently has more than 250,000 supporters.
“Flappy Bird,” the mobile game phenomenon that had been pulling in $50,000 per day, was yanked from the Google Play and Apple iOS stores on Feb. 8 by its Vietnamese creator, Dong Nguyen.
“I am sorry, 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore,” Nguyen tweeted on Feb. 8, seeming to refer to various forms of criticism he'd received.
The highly addictive and frustrating mobile app had created a lot of angry users. Though it was simple and easy to play, critics, gamers and bloggers began tearing “Flappy Bird” apart as it grew in popularity. Users were accusing Nguyen of using bots to ensure higher ratings and even calling “Flappy Bird” plagiarism and “ripped-off art.”
“'Flappy Bird' is entirely artless, and completely uninterested in giving us an experience outside of mechanical mastery. There's no variation, and the one mechanic never evolves or even attempts to apply itself in interesting ways,” said IGN. “'Flappy Bird' isn't a good video game. It's arguably not even a fun one.”
When Nguyen decided to pull the game, he received numerous negative responses, including death threats and suicide tweets. One woman even tweeted him a photo of a gun in her mouth, saying, “If you delete Fappy Bird, I’ll kill myself.” Even if a majority of these messages weren’t serious, this gives you an idea of the massive amount of attention Nguyen was forced to endure during the game's sudden rise.
On Feb. 11, Forbes spoke to Nguyen about why he yanked the game from the hands of millions of addicted users. “'Flappy Bird' was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed,” the creator said. “But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down ‘Flappy Bird.’ It’s gone forever.”
Sorry, "Flappy Bird" fans, looks like Nguyen is not planning to bring the game back anytime soon.