Draw something. Anything...
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Thursday 22 March 2012
The booming popularity of a two-player game called Draw Something is causing a slump in workplace productivity. Not dissimilar to the board game Pictionary, the free app requires you to express words such as "xerox" or "voodoo" in picture form, with your stubby index finger as the paintbrush and your phone as the canvas.
Thus far, the game has racked up 30 million downloads and more than $100,000 (£63,000) in revenue from players buying "bombs", which allow them to cheat by skipping undrawable words such as "tempest" in favour of easier options such as, er, "door". At the time of going to press, it was also set to be snapped up by social-network giant Zynga (the company behind time-shredding titles such as FarmVille and Words with Friends) for $200m.
Most drawings are gloriously inept. Notions of scale, perspective and hue are jettisoned in favour of blunt visual clues; my depiction of "snowball" was faintly pornographic, "widow" a bit insensitive, and "Germany" something I'm not at all proud of. (Obviously no one polices the games, so if you were stuck on "soldier" you could always just write "SOLDIER" on the screen in desperation.)
Then, before each turn, the app plays back in real time your opponent's last guessing attempt as your miserable effort – complete with errors and false starts – reveals itself. It's joyous. The only downside (although cunning from a games design perspective) is that the games never seem to end. You just keep drawing, badly, for eternity; a dystopian future in app form.
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Virus to kill 67,000 in Monrovia by December, claims academic study
Ebola: NYC doctor Craig Spencer tests positive for disease after returning from west Africa
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
What do the text messages between you and your partner reveal about your relationship?
Controversy over Queen's 'first tweet' at London's Science Museum
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.N...