Posts Tagged Fruit Ninja
Bored with real life? There’s an app for that
BY RICHARD ROEPER firstname.lastname@example.org April 24, 2012
If Marty McFly touched down in the real 2012, no doubt he’d be dazzled by the info-techno-revolution, and within a day he’d come to this conclusion:
The average American looks down at her communications device more often than she looks other people in the eye.
We spend an astonishing amount of time taking and sharing photos of our food, our children and whatever our current location happens to be.
And when we’re not doing that, we’re playing games in which we draw pictures, form words and slingshot angry birds at green pigs.
Remember when Americans got rich by making automobiles, forging steel, building skyscrapers, drilling for oil, bootlegging liquor — all those good old-fashioned ways? Now, your best bet is to come up with an app that gets people addicted to playing updated versions of board games with friends or strangers. Or invent yet another way for someone to share every facet of his life with the seven other people who might be mildly interested in his 165 vacation photos.
Back to the future
I take note of all this not from the viewpoint of some Luddite who pines for the days of typewriters, pay phones and playing kick the can. I’m the guy with the Mac Desktop, the Macbook Air, the iPad and the iPhone, the guy who says, “Check out this app!” to people who didn’t ask to check out the app, the guy who has seen every installment of “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead” — and has never watched a single episode in real time on “regular TV.” I’ve got everything from news apps to Flight Board to TweetDeck to games such as Temple Run, RealRacing2HD, Pocket Passer, Air Hockey and Waste Paper Basketball Diaries on the iPad.
I love this world — but still. You look at the top paid and free apps on iPhone, and it’s all about getting in touch with your inner 12-year-old. (Or being an actual 12-year-old.) There are Angry Birds Space and Flick Home Run! and Draw Something, Shark Dash and Fruit Ninja, Camera+ and Cut the Rope, Kick the Buddy and Scramble with Friends.
Or how about this one: WhatsApp Messenger. It’s “a cross-platform smartphone messenger . . . that utilizes push notifications to instantly get messages from friends, colleagues and family.” (I’m sure you can reach your enemies as well.) With WhatsApp, you can “switch from SMS to exchange messages, pictures, audio notes and video messages with WhatsApp users at no cost.”
It’s not that I expect our smart devices to be packed with apps titled “Cure for Cancer” and “Press This Button and Lose 10 Lbs.,” but geez, when do people find time to become masters of all these games? How significant is the percentage of Americans who are so bored with their everyday real lives they can’t go a day without playing a glorified version of “Pictionary”?
I’m still trying to wrap my logic around Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the nifty but hardly revolutionary photo-sharing program. They have to make a billion dollars just to break even on the purchase. How will that happen? Anyone?
Facebook has something like 850 million active monthly users. Instagram has about 35 million. No doubt a good percentage of those 35 million are already on Facebook.
I know: It’s the mobile factor. Facebook swallowed up Instagram before Instagram started taking a bite out of Facebook. And if Facebook is worth $100 billion, why not spend a billion here and there? But it still seems like an enormous overpay.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to do something with the Pinterest account I opened a while back. I haven’t posted a single entry under “Products I Love” or “My Style.” But once I get it going, I’m sure it’ll be a valuable addition to a portfolio that includes my website, my Twitter account, my two Facebook pages — I think there’s even a MySpace page accumulating dust somewhere.
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