Angry Birds: Future ‘total world domination’?

By Anne Collier

It’s looking like that – total world domination for, of all things, Angry Birds (quite serendipitously to continue my bird theme this week [see this on red-tailed hawks]). Signs of approaching world domination:

1. Google has adopted Angry Birds, er, adapted their game for the Web via its Chrome browser, the Washington Post reports, adding that the game already runs on Android and Windows phones, webOS, and Sony’s PlayStation. It runs on other Web browsers, too, but only through Chrome can Angry Bird players purchase Mighty Eagle (who helps them level up in the game).
2. Angry Birds’ avowed addicts such as a) Derek Baird, who says he dreams about Angry Birds and embeds a 7-min. video of their Finnish creators on how Angry Birds became a hit here, and b) New York Times commentator and dad Rick Marin who calls Angry Birds “the world’s cheapest crack” and confesses that his “two boys [Diego, age 6, and Kingsley the younger] have joined their role model [Rick] into this mind-numbing insanity.”
3. 40 million active users, 75 million paid and ad-supported downloads [of the game as of the end of last month], and 2 million plush dolls sold, Rick adds.

If you’re like this dad’s wife (not an Angry Birds addict) and want to know what you may be dealing with at your house, Rick (also a self-avowed “simpleton”) says the game’s “principles” are simple: “You slingshot red, yellow or whatever birds at smug green pigs who in the game’s narrative have stolen the birds’ eggs. Hence their anger. The goal is to kill the pigs and destroy as much of their protective housing as possible with as few birds as possible. The birds chirp and squawk. The pigs grunt and snicker as the game’s Tchaikovsky-lite musical stings insinuate their way into your brain,” and it gets harder and harder to get the word “Achievement” to flash on the screen as you level up to the ultimate level, according to Rick: “It’s 2 a.m. and I’m Wasting My Life.” I don’t know why this isn’t happening at my house, but I think I’m glad. I may be “speaking” too soon, though (it could happen to me!).

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