Thursday, February 20, 2014

Salinger, Chowhound, and "Flappy Bird"

An app called "Flappy Bird" created by an indie game designer in Vietnam become a phenom, sailing to the top of the charts and creating an absolute sensation. As with all sensations - including ones as innocent and well-intentioned as this cute little game - there were a host of concurrent nasty rumors (all baseless) and savage criticism (all overblown), fed by sharply-worded media reports from outlets thrashing for a share of all the attention. The guy received death threats. It was a circus, a nightmare, all over nothing but a cheerful little game.

Last week, at the apex of its popularity, the designer pulled Flappy Bird from the market, explaining that he wanted his life back. Read the story here, and a follow-up interview with the designer here.

That move blew everyone's mind. The tech world and media struggled to make sense of it. Why would anyone recede from limelight? Fresh nefarious rumors were spun and more harsh articles were written. Is he sick in the head? Why wouldn't he welcome this sort of attention?

For my part, I couldn't believe their disbelief. Here's my perspective on JD Salinger, another guy presumed mentally ill for rejecting limelight. And for a hound's eye view of an earlier Internet phenom, have a read through the story of my adventure creating, managing, and selling

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