Flappy Bird May Fly Again

IMG_0492Video game designer Dong Nguyen created a popular game App called Flappy Bird.

The concept was simple. Tap the screen on your smart phone to make Flappy Bird fly. Keep tapping so the bird flies between some pipes. Try to fly the bird through as many pipes as you can. If the bird hits a pipe, the game is over.

Although it’s a simple concept, it’s a very tricky game to play. It’s hard to make the bird fly so it doesn’t hit the poles.

The graphics are simple and the game idea is simple. And it caught on. Perhaps it was its very simplicity that made the game so popular.

Nguyen made Flappy Bird available for free on May 24.

Flappy Bird wasn’t noticed by many people for about eight months.

And then it went viral. In January, it became the most downloaded app in the App Store.

By February, the game had been downloaded more than 50 million times. Nguyen was becoming very wealthy from the sales of in-game advertising. He said he was making more than $50,000 a day.

Not many people knew that Nguyen, who lives in Vietnam, was Flappy Bird’s creator; he tried to avoid reporters.

As Flappy Bird became more popular, people started saying mean things on the Internet, like accusing Nguyen of having used game company Nintendo’s graphics.

After awhile, Nguyen couldn’t take the comments and the pressure any more.

He decided to take Flappy Bird off the Internet.

Even though Nguyen was making a lot of money from the game, he valued his peace and quiet more.

He also felt guilty, according to Time Magazine, that his game was so addictive. (Addictive, in this case, means that people enjoy playing it so much they can’t stop playing it even when they have played it too much.)

So on Feb. 10, he removed Flappy Bird.

Since then, many designers have created games that look and play like Flappy Bird. Some of them have become popular.

But they’re not the “original” Flappy Bird.

Two days ago, Flappy Bird fans received a ray of hope from the game’s creator.

Someone sent Nguyen a tweet that said, “Are u going to put flappy bird back on App Store ?”

Nguyen replied, according to Time Magazine, “Yes. But not soon.”

According to Time, Nguyen may be releasing other games soon, and then he may make Flappy Bird available again.

Nguyen’s Twitter messages imply that he is working on Flappy Bird and will put it back on the Internet once he has made a few changes to it.

Flappy Bird fans will have to wait and see.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Is there a video game that you love playing so much, you can’t stop playing it? What is the game? What makes the game so enjoyable?

On the flip side, is there a game that you don’t enjoy playing? What is the game and why do you not find it enjoyable?

Reading Prompt: Reading Unfamiliar Words
Do you agree with Nguyen’s decision to take the Flappy Bird app down? Why do you think he made this decision? Do you think he should have made a different decision – why or why not?

Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts  (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Abbreviation
An abbreviation is a short form for a word. For example, ‘app’ is short form for ‘application’.

Read through the article and see if there are other words that you could replace with abbreviations. What are the words and what are their short forms?